Edinburgh Fringe Festival Nottingham Preview

Aaron Calvert: MIND GAMES – a mind reading and hypnosis show based around how we make decisions and how they can be controlled. MIND GAMES will be visiting the Edinburgh fringe festival in August 2016.

MIND GAMES is a show I’ve been working on to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2016. Having visited the Fringe Festival a number of times over the years, my schedule unfortunately has never aligned to allow me to take a show up to Edinburgh for the festival until now. I am really excited about this opportunity and will be performing as part of the PBH Free Fringe Festival.

edinburgh fringe festival decisions poster

I have been working on a show specifically designed for the Fringe environment and MIND GAMEs (previewed as Decisions) is the culmination of that work. To ensure the show is ready for Edinburgh and as it’s very hard to practice mind reading and hypnosis alone or in the mirror, I decided to preview the show in a number of cities including Nottingham.

You may or may not know that I graduated in Medicine from the University of Nottingham in July earlier this year and decided to go full time into performing. It was great to be back in Nottingham as a city to perform for some old faces and lots new ones too.

The previews in Nottingham were designed to start small, this was the first time this show would be seen by a live audience. I held the event in November in the function room of the Three Wheatsheaves. It was a lovely and intimate setting for the show seating around 60 people. This was very different to the types of venues I’d performed at in Nottingham before, but much closer to what I cold expect from a Edinburgh Fringe venue.

Both nights were sell out previews, meaning I had to cram in some additional seating for the second night as success of the first evening had spread. Things were rather cosy for a few audience members.

Though the show contained modified parts of routines from older shows including MIND GAMES, which was rated 5 stars by the Nottingham post, and CONNECTED (blog post from freshers), a show I’ve been performing for 5 years, there was a distinct new feel to the show and even those who had seen both of those shows saw something completely new with decisions.

Decisions showcased my mind reading and hypnosis techniques in a variety of games and experiments for the audience to get involved with. I like to start the show with a game which involves everyone, talking people through how and why we tend to make certain decisions. As we move through various feats from memory work to mind reading, we come to the hypnosis section of the show. This is the part of the show I always gets lots of response from, I endeavour to allow everyone in the audience to experience something and then select to bring a few volunteers to the stage to briefly explore the darker aspects of hypnosis and how it can be used to influence our decisions. After this fun and brief trip into the darker realm its back to a mind reading extravaganza to finish.

edinburgh fringe preview nottingham december

The content of the show remained largely the same for both nights in Nottingham, with a few small adjustments. Sorry no spoilers from me here I like to keep the content a secret so when you see it you have no idea what to expect other than a great show. I’d asked the audience members to kindly fill out a brief questionnaire after the show to give me feedback on the performances and I am very proud to say for the first showing, the responses were phenomenally positive. So with a few tweaks over the coming months it will be ready for Edinburgh.

Decisions will re-previewed in Nottingham in early 2016 and Manchester in April of 2016 with the tweaks and some new additions.

If you are thinking about seeing the show in preview check out my Facebook page for up coming dates or catch it at the Festival. There are so many great acts on from comedians to musicians to magicians. Honestly check it out!

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