— UNDER THE SPELL
Scrodini from Shotts is the archetypal hypnotist. He is bearded. has magnetic eyes and he picks out members ofthe public. gets them sleepy. sends them under. makes them perform antics and then snaps them out ofit. He also wears an evening suit and goes in for an ltalianate name ending in ‘ini'. But he is a member of the Federation of Ethical Stage Hypnotists and as such comes guaranteed against some of the more bizarre exploits practised by others. as he explained: ‘Some hypnotists go in for weird things — like getting hypnotised members ofthe audience to strip or have simulated sex with a rubber doll on the floor. It’s totally over the top. But you could bring your maiden aunt to my show.‘ Asked about the attraction of hypnotism for an audience. Scrodini poured forth: ‘lt‘s the mystique. People are interested in the idea of
magical powers and it's something that everybody would like to try. Being hypnotised D u H often brings out the other side ofa person — they
become extroverts on stage.‘
Working to a briefof recording ‘aspects of Interestingly. hypnotists‘ stage-shows were everyday Edinburgh life that may change or banned in 1952 — an indication of the unease felt disappear entirely in the course of the next few at the psychic goings-on. Even now. theatres years'. eight artists were commissioned last year have to get permission from local authorities to to produce works for an exhibition called ‘Should have a hypnotist performing at their venue. Aiild Acquaintance Be Forgot‘. The subjects Scrodini. whose show involves an ESP
chosen by the artists form a motley collection — demonstration followed by hypnotism. is well Leith. the ‘Diggers‘ pub in Dalry. Elsie Inglis aware of the possible misuse ofpsychic powers. Memorial Maternity Hospital. shops in ‘All members of FESH have agreed not to do Stockbridge. Haymarket coalyards. the cultural certain things. But there are definitely cowboys life of the city's Sikh community. the Edinburgh in the business you have to watch out for.‘ coastline from Cramond to Musselburgh and. Scrodini is appearing at the Palace Theatre. perhaps more surprisingly. the tea ladies at Kilmarnock on Saturday 28th February at Edinburgh College of Art. a painting by Harry 7.30pm.
The tea ladies in question. Griselda Fyfe and Jan McDonald. voiced opposing views on the potential demise of the tea lady. Ms McDonald felt that “the tea lady will always be there. People need to be fed.‘ Ms Fyfe observed wrily: ‘I think we will disappear. We‘ll be replaced by a vending machine.’The two posed for More-Gordon's painting ‘The Tea Ladies' Coffee Break' for a day and a halfday respectively. and both claim to be very pleased with the result. ‘ The exhibition is being held at the City Art Centre. Market Street. Edinburgh from now until 29th March.
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