PSYCHIC OR NOT… YOU DECIDE.

DISCLAIMER: I am not suggesting for one minute that Sally Morgan is not speaking to the dead, telling the truth, getting messages from the deceased, or being anything but honest with her audience. I am merely reporting what happened, and leaving the conclusion to those who read this. In the course of her performance, Morgan stated that what she did was entertainment. Again, I leave the validity of that statement to the reader – draw your own conclusion.

On February 23 2012, I was tasked with attending a performance of Psychic Sally Morgan, and writing a review. On the grounds of what happened, the newspaper decided not to run the review because it would make a big story. It was then handed to their legal people who vetoed it, on the grounds of the fact that there is a current legal dispute between Morgan and a newspaper, and they had no wish to be drawn into the fight. I was told that Sally Morgan has made it clear that if any media outlet suggests that she is a fraud or that she is a liar, then she WILL sue.

So, the story was dropped. However, it was handed to The Sun. They initially seemed very excited, but it was then given to the legal people there… and nothing came of it.

It is worth bearing in mind that in the days prior to the show, I informed a number of people of my intentions, despite the realisation that the odds against my “message” being selected were high, indeed.

So, here is what happened…

On the actual evening of the performance, as the show was closing for the first half, Psychic Sally Morgan had what can only be described as hysterics. She was wailing and squeaking, saying that she could see an explosion… and a man “being thrown in the air.” She seemed to be completely overcome by the horrific vision, stating that she was trying to get it out of her head, but couldn’t. She seemed to be completely overwhelmed by this vision.

There followed the intermission.

After the intermission she came back on stage, still talking about the horrific image she had in her head, and that she had to get it out. She then gave the name “Mark” linked to this explosion. Somebody stood, suggesting it might be him, as his name was Mark and he worked with somebody whose son had been killed in an explosion in Afghanistan.

Sally took it a step further, saying she was getting the name “Tobin” or “Toe-been” something like that…. At which point I stood up, yelled “Up here” and was handed the microphone. The onstage video camera picked me out, so my image now appeared on the backdrop video screen. I was then told that this chap who was killed in the explosion was on the stage with Sally… big explosion… He was sitting on something…. Or hunched over something… Then the explosion…Horrific… Horrible.. blah blah blah. 

Now, here’s what Sally didn’t know. A couple of weeks before the show I found her website and I sent a message, saying that I was all excited that she was coming to Edinburgh. Also, I hoped to get a message from Toby “Tobias” Wren, who was killed in an explosion on December 14 while defusing an explosive device.”

On the evening of the show, when you first enter the theatre foyer you are faced with a standee which proclaims “Sally’s Love Letters and Photographs”. Inside, there are stacks of hundreds of “Sally’s Love Letters” and pens. The Love Letters are pieces of card, about 3″x2″ which state: “Ask Sally about a loved one who has passed over and she may pick this card out of her ‘Psychic Orb’ during the evening and come to you with a special message….”

There are literally hundreds of people filling out these slips of paper and placing them in a box. These slips are later taken onto the stage and dumped into the Psychic Orb, which looks like a big, glass fishbowl. Myself and an assistant spent a merry half-hour filling out the slips – all with exactly the same information – “Toby ‘Tobias’ Wren. Killed in an explosion on December 14 while defusing an explosive device.”

What makes this so strange – that Sally had Toby on stage with her – is that the explosion and the character names are actually lifted directly from the fictional death scene of Toby Wren, a character played by Robert Powell in the BBC series “Doomwatch”. 

How could she be so distressed by such a horrific scene, when it was a television dramatisation from 1970? How could she get the name of “Toby” and have him standing beside her – as she told us he was – when, actually, Toby never existed? Remarkable, indeed. Is it possible that she picked up on my psychic thoughts? 

Where could that information have come from? Certainly not from the dead spirit of Toby, that’s for sure, because Toby never existed, other than as a fictional character in a BBC drama!

If that IS how she got the information, then passed on a message to me that had the audience gasp in astonishment, then it makes me wonder about the source of the other “messages”.

What I found so distressing about this, as a member of the audience, is that there were whole families turning up, each paying around £25 per person. These were people, some of whom obviously would have found this a financial burden, in the hope of having some sort of contact from a dearly loved mother, father or child.

Seeing Sally Morgan on-stage clutching her chest, acting out the last thoughts of a deceased father, squealing “He’s saying: I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die.” and watching the sobbing reaction of the relatives… Made me feel distnctly uneasy – and that’s putting it lightly. It is the vulnerable and the bereaved who suffer the cruel consequence of all this. I would question the suggestion that this brings comfort to the bereaved.

So, with all that reported: Here is the review :

Sally Morgan

Playhouse Theatre

Stars: 1

Run ended

THE show starts long before the curtain goes up. In a side room there are pens and cards: Sally’s Love Letters. Audience members are invited to fill in a card with information about a loved one who has passed over, with the promise that she may pick that card out of her “Psychic Orb”. 

There were a lot of cards being filled out. And the psychic orb looked suspiciously like the fish bowls favoured by fake spiritualists in the past, and by psychological illusionists such as Derren Brown today.

Morgan skipped onto the stage and launched into a long explanation of what she does and how she does it. She took great pains to point out that she has to refer to her performance as a “show” and that it is entertainment, because of legislation and the fact that there is a “lot going on at the moment”. Possibly referring to the upcoming legal case.

And eventually, the performance began.  She would throw out names, often as loose as “Shirley… or Shirl… or Sheila. It may be a place name like Sheil.” It seems that the spirits mumble.

There were moments where she got the information bang on. But there were also moments when the answers to her questions drew a long string of “No”s, at times producing giggles from sections of the crowd. There were many more misses than hits.

It was easy to remember that in her previous job Morgan was a dental nurse – because this was like pulling teeth.

Just before the intermission, she was suddenly overcome with shock. She could “see” an explosion. “A man being thrown in the air.” She couldn’t get the horror of it from her mind, but she promised to return to the theme on her return.

And she did. Clearly appalled by what she was “seeing” she offered the name of “Tobin”. Which is when a certain Evening News reviewer found himself in the spotlight. Her message was uncannily accurate. One of the highlights.

Unfortunately, the spirit who was “standing beside her” describing the details – the same details that had been written on a number of Sally’s Love Letters, and emailed earlier that week – was actually a death scene played by the great British actor Robert Powell as Toby Wren in the BBC series “Doomwatch” in 1970. Oops! Didn’t see THAT coming.

Coincidence? Might have been. Either way, it would seem that, for a short while at least, Morgan’s “extraordinary gift” had deserted her. It was a show that left more questions than it offered answers.

ENDS