Bolton Council broke with more than 40 years of tradition as it allowed a hypnotist permission for a performance at the Albert Halls.

Robert Temple applied for a licence for his show, Red Raw, around two weeks before the performance on Saturday (February 10).

Under the Hypnotism Act, any act in which someone's "susceptibility to suggestion" is increased or intended to be increased is in need of permission from the authorities on pain of a fine of £1000, although Bolton Council is understood to be one of few authorities to apply the act.

Effectively it has had a blanket ban on the practice since 1982 when it received the power to licence entertainment in public places.

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It broke with more than 40 years of tradition as it allowed the hypnotist permission for a performance for which hundreds of tickets are sold already.

Mr Temple performed at the town hall venue around a year and a half ago but the licensing officer, Patricia Clyne, said this was a misunderstanding.

The Bolton News: Robert Temple in the poster for Red Raw

Ms Clyne said: "I have been here since 1996 and I have not dealt with an application for a hypnotism prior to this. 

"We are aware there was a performance and this was a misunderstanding under this particular piece of legislation."

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The chair of the committee, Sean Fielding, asked for a review into the council's use of the Hypnotism Act.

It was confirmed to the committee there is a review with its result to be brought before the council shortly.

Cllr Fielding said: "I would like to thank Mr Temple for his statement referring to the relevant parts of the act and the relevant parts of Bolton Council policy. I am sorry he went to so much trouble. There was a book I was bought called Strange Laws of Old England and I think this regulation brought in by Bolton Council more than 40 years ago might make it into a subsequent edition.

"The first question I asked was can we repeal whatever regulation it is which made us come together this afternoon as it seems to be a bit dated."

Red Raw is at the Albert Halls on Saturday (February 10). For information go to

This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.