Three generations of hypnotists will take to the Royal Wanganui Opera House stage for a good cause next week.

Dave Upfold, his son Wesley and grandson Nathan promise to mesmerise the audience with their 2½ Hypnotists show which, Dave says, has "lashings of comedy".

Proceeds from the opera house show will go to support Whanganui Multiple Sclerosis sufferer Briar Novis to travel to Russia for stem cell treatment.

Read more: Whanganui MS sufferer books trip to Russia in search of radical treatment
Whanganui MS sufferer Briar Novis fundraising for stem cell treatment in Russia


"I met Briar's partner Kelvin Williams when I did a show at Whanganui High School earlier this year and I said we would help."

Originally from South Africa, Dave is the former mayor of Queensburgh which is now part of the larger Durban municipality.

"I initially performed as a magician for fundraising events and the hypnotist in that show wanted to retire so I learned to fill that role.

"I then performed with another hypnotist and when his Jewish faith prevented him from doing a Friday show, Wesley agreed to help out."

Father and son have now been performing shows together for more than 20 years and Nathan, now 14, started joining them on stage as a 3-year-old.

"Nathan is very tall now so the two-and-half thing doesn't work so well anymore.

"However his little brother Liam is now 3 and ready to join the show so we will become three and a half."

Dave says the show promises mayhem and hilarity for the audience who get to participate in the fun.


He also hinted that there may be a guest appearance by Mitre 10 Mega strongman Levi Vaoga.

The Auckland-based performer says he loves performing in Whanganui and has done more than 30 shows here including school fundraisers.

Support for a Givealittle page, set up by Briar's father Ron Novis, has gone a long way to raising the $95,000 needed for her treatment, travel and accommodation.

Around $20,000 is still needed and Upfold says he hopes the show will be a "sell out" so Briar and her family can finalise their plans.

"If you think one hypnotist on stage is funny, just imagine how funny it is going to be with all three and little Liam may make an appearance as well."

2 ½ Hypnotists will perform at the Royal Wanganui Opera House on Friday, September 7 at 7pm. General Admission tickets are $25 and can be purchased online or from RWOH.