Comedy Hypnotist Matt Hale brings remixed Top Fun 80’s Spectacular to Fringe 2024

Comedy Hypnotist Matt Hale returns this Fringe World with Top Fun! 80’s Spectacular – Remix. The new show revamps last summer’s popular 80s-themed spectacular, combining all the fun of the unforgettable decade with audience participation and the incredible abilities of the mind. A former radio personality and winner of three national comedy awards, Matt Hale performs at The Enchanted Ballroom at exciting new Fringe hub FANTASIA and Park View Hall at Scarborough Sports & Community Club, with tickets for the full run of dates on sale now. BRAYDEN EDWARDS got on the highway to the Hypno Zone with Matt Hale to find out more.

The 80s theme adds a real element of fun to the mix. Take us back to the 80s in the world of Matt Hale. Were you expecting to be a ‘comedy hypnotist’ back then, or did you have other ambitions?

Ha! No, far from it. I was massively into the music around then and had superstar pop group ambitions. Unfortunately, my dreams of being a frontman were dashed when I realised I couldn’t really sing. No prob. I took guitar lessons because I thought the lead guitarist would be cool. Unfortunately, I wasn’t particularly good at that either.

However, still a kid, I became the first person I knew to grab a set of decks (vinyl record decks back then), and that’s when I found my first calling as a DJ. I absolutely loved it, and once I was old enough to DJ in clubs, I started DJing for months at a time on contracts around Europe until well into my 20s. That passion has never left me, and you’ll still find me popping up from time to time with a random set somewhere or as part of my hypnosis/house music crossover side project, The Clubnosis Experience.

And what is your favourite memory of the 80s?

Wow, so many! Growing up close to London, I saw so many iconic 80s artists live, from Michael Jackson to Queen to even being at the final Wham! concert at Wembley. It was also the decade that house music broke through, and that changed everything for me.

What’s something you would bring back from the 80s?

My heavily hairsprayed hair, complete with blonde highlights!

And something that should definitely be left there?

Most would say the same answer as above!

Despite being around for such a long time, it seems most of us still don’t really understand hypnosis. What do you think are the most common misconceptions about hypnosis?

I definitely think there are fewer misconceptions now, due to things like yoga, mindfulness, meditation, and visualisation becoming mainstream, as they all embrace a very similar process of relaxation and focus. And we’re definitely all more aware that we can train our minds to change the way we feel or think with the right techniques.

Previously, people may have thought of it as taking control of someone or even being able to make them do things against their will. If that were the case, I wouldn’t be on stage; I’d be getting you to reveal your bankcard PIN number and hitting the nearest ATM! In reality, hypnosis is a state of focused imagination, and you always have control over your own actions and can reject suggestions if they don’t appeal.

I guess your audiences embrace the 80s theme when they come to your shows too. For those of us that maybe weren’t around at the time and want to come to your show, what kind of look and attitude fit the vibe of the decade?

Although far from a requirement, we frequently had various groups show up in 80s gear to the shows last year. There was a lot of colour and day-glo, which complements nicely what you’ll see me wearing on stage! Let’s just say it’s far from your traditional hypnosis show! As for attitude, the same two words as the show title: be prepared for TOP FUN!