Metro Choice: Paws for thought

Forget all that hackneyed pocket-watch stuff - Hugh Lennon hypnotises you with his dog. Hypno Dog (below), Lennon's pet Labrador, has a very dominant stare, and when Lennon's house-guests were constantly mesmerised by the basilisk canine, Lennon d ecidedto incorporate his best friend into his act. Volunteers are invited on stage to sit in front of the dog, and after a while they just collapse on to the floor, to be resurrected as a ballet dancer or John Travolta. Lennon has been hypnotising peopl e for20 years - he caught the bug after seeing a hypnotist on a cruise ship when he was doing a mind-reading act. He resolved to learn the technique, at first for personal reasons. "I do self-hypnosis all the time: the subconscious controls the body, so it'sgreat for stress-relief and general health. All kinds of creative people use some method of self-hypnosis." The safety of stage hypnotism is a bone of contention nowadays, but Lennon is the consummate experienced professional. "I do a lot of studen t union gigs, and interest is especially high around exam time, when everyone is stressed and suicide rates go up. I teach them how to cope," he says benignly. They recently wowed audiences on BBC1's Steve Wright's People Show; now it's your chance to se e Hugh and his Hypno Dog in person and live to tell the tail.

Hugh Lennon and Hypno Dog, today and tomorrow, Lakeside Country Club, Frimley Green, Surrey (0252 836464)

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