Comedy review: Philip Escoffey


AS WE file out of Philip Escoffey's show, people look stunned, communicating in monosyllables such as "woah!" and "wow". "That was quite unsettling, eh?" murmured a giant bloke behind me who, on the face of it, didn't look the type to be unsettled by anything that registered below an eight on the Richter scale.

At the start of his hour, Escoffey says that he will, by the end of the show, have us believing in something we know to be impossible. And he does exactly that, though it would be unforgivable to tell you what happens at the end of this astounding show.

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I cannot begin to comprehend how this utterly charming young man does what he does. It is a little like watching Jerry Sadowitz do close-up magic: if Escoffey is not exhibiting supernatural powers, then he is exhibiting such breathtaking skill it is tantamount to having supernatural powers. In between mind games, Escoffey is charming, amusing and obviously incredibly well informed. He tells us that more than $10 billion is spent on psychic services each year. That's a lot for something that doesn't exist. Or does it ?

He gives an idiosyncratic tarot reading and tops it spectacularly, and bestows the power of unbelievable luck on a girl from the audience through the medium of his deceased grannie's watch. The final section is nothing short of a masterpiece of … well, I don't really know what. I expect he knew I'd write that.

Until today, 6:45pm.