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Any exhibition, demonstration or performance of hypnotism (as defined in the Hypnotism Act 1952) requires the express written consent of the Council as licensing authority.

The application must be submitted no less than 28 days before the date on which the 'display' is scheduled to take place. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted.

The premises at which hypnotism will take place must hold a premises licence or a club premises certificate issued under the Licensing Act 2003.

There are no fees applicable to this process.

The Hypnotism Act 1952 states that no person shall give an exhibition, demonstration or performance of hypnotism on any living person at or in connection with an entertainment to which the public are admitted, whether on payment or otherwise, at any place unless the controlling authority have authorised that exhibition, demonstration or performance.

Hypnotism includes hypnotism, mesmerism and any similar act or process which produces or is intended to produce in any person any form of induced sleep or trance in which the susceptibility of the mind of that person to suggestion or direction is increased or intended to be increased.


The 1952 Act imposes a restriction on hypnotising anyone under 18. There are provisions which make legitimate scientific or medical hypnotism exempt from the need for licensing provided that it is not undertaken for public entertainment.

It is open to the Licensing Authority to impose such conditions as it may see fit on any consent given. However there is guidance in the form of Home Office Circular 39/1996, which forms the basis of any hypnotism conditions.


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