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'Office Space' debacle: stunned hypnotist leaves audience entranced

NEWS - OFFWORLD

Listen very carefully...

Mike Judge and David Days leave them wanting more...

In a comic turn reminiscent of the cult Mike Judge comedy Office Space (1999), a hypnotist in Dorset has chosen the most unfortunate moment to need medical attention. Mesmeriser David Days had just put three audience members into a trance during his Friday show at Portland's Royal Manor, when he tripped over an audience member's leg and knocked himself unconscious, leaving his test subjects neither in this world nor the other.

Though the audience was asked to leave the theatre after the accident took place, nothing could be done for the hypnotised guinea pigs in their suggestible state until their Svengali could be roused from his stunned disposition. The BBC reports that the hypnotised audience members were woken shortly after Mr Days was finally brought round, with some difficulty, by his team, and that Days provides a voice recording that can 'unlock' hypnotised subjects in such an emergency, though it's not clear at this stage whether the recording was used.

Day's manager Tara Nix said "Three people were left on stage but we always have a back-up tape and a back-up hypnotist to step in if needed." David Days later wrote on his Facebook page "A little bruised, but that's all. Thanks for your support tonight, it was a great show with some great volunteers".

An audience member said "He was pulled from stage and there was loads of commotion from a number of people backstage including one man who ran to the other side of the stage to get a first aid kit. At first the audience, including us, found it very funny and thought it was part of the act, but as time went on we began to realise that it was not part of the show and he had actually hurt himself...At this point we become very worried not only for David Days but also the guests that were onstage oblivious to anything as they were still hypnotised...They simply just sat there 'asleep'."

Mike McShane in 'Office Space' (1999)In Office Space, oppressed desk-jockey Ron Livingston is put into a trance by therapeutic hypnotist Mike McShane, who promptly has a heart attack and dies, leaving Livingston without any means of remembering that he hates his life. He then goes on to turn his career on his head, date Jennifer Aniston and defeat the evil office tyrant Lumbergh - a classic turn by Gary Cole.

There aren't many known examples of the real impact of unbroken hypnotic state, though the Office Space hypothesis - that it just 'wears off' over time - seems pretty credible. Edgar Allen Poe's chilling 1845 short story The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar deals with a dying man who is hypnotised just at the point of death, and then kept from death by that means.

BBC


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