Esoterica, Festival Fringe Review

Esoterica are things understood by or meant for a select few. Eric Walton, who looks like a younger and better looking Michael Stipe, faultlessly delivers this one man show, which takes us on an enthralling journey through the world of magic, mind reading and the human psyche. Walton’s style could be described as a flamboyant, humorous and further intellectualised Derren Brown. While we may be familiar with much of Esoterica’s content from the likes of Brown and Blaine, it doesn’t make it any more understandable to most of us, nor any less entertaining.

Esoterica at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2008

No amount of magic could fix the leaky roof of the Baby Belly 2 cave, where Esoterica was performed - I made sure to stay away from the electrical cabling! Esoterica, as you’d expect, is heavy on audience participation; whether it be card tricks, mind reading, conning or ‘educating’. Walton is the consummate performer; effortlessly gliding through Greek poetry recitals, the far corners of the English language and literary quotations. At one stage Walton recites a hand crafted poem, about Harry Houdini and an Irish trickster, while simultaneously dazzling us with his card tricks.

Esoterica is delivered with bucket-loads of mainly highbrow humour, some of it scripted, much of it ad hoc. A finale of faultlessly recalling memorised cards, reciting facts on states of Walton’s native USA and his impressive arithmetic ability is astonishing. With the roof leaking as it was, Walton probably wasn’t far away from literally bringing the house down.

Eric Walton’s Esoterica proves that delivery and polish is every bit as important as the content, he even shakes the hands of the audience as they leave. Esoterica is a humorous, gripping and great hour of fun. Unmissable.

Essential | Worth a watch |One to miss

Esoterica’s run at Underbelly’s Baby Belly ends 24th August.

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