At the Illusionist’s Table review at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Edinburgh – ‘clever and satisfying’
Hidden away in a private room, up under the eaves of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Scott Silven’s At the Illusionist’s Table is a combination of fine dining, whisky tasting and mind reading illusions.
Silven is a charming, attentive host, spinning tales of his childhood between courses. Into these, he plants illusions, while using the SMWS’s food and whisky to add ideas based on taste and smell. The meal is prop, too, to his carefully designed illusions. The main course provides a visual complement to a tale of getting lost in mist-filled woods, while the dessert is at the heart of the evening’s best reveal.
With a table of only 12, Silven is able to make it a strongly intimate – almost immersive – performance, ensuring that each audience member is both a guest and an active participant in the evening. The pace is leisurely, too; the material would only just make an hour-long show, but more than adequately fills a two and a half hour meal.
Smooth delivery feels second nature to Silven. Co-creator and director Helen Milne could help rein that in slightly, so that Silven doesn’t become too slick to feel honest. But he has every right to be confident – this is a clever, satisfying evening.