Creating a magical platform

JOHN HARVEY

Well-known Pinelands magician Marcel Oudejans has pulled another rabbit out of his hat by launching the Cape Town Magic Club, a dedicated Monday night platform for Cape Town’s premier magicians.

The shows, hosted at the Cape Town Club, at 18 Queen Victoria Street, Gardens, kicked off on Monday this week, with the first of the evening’s two performances drawing a capacity crowd.

The concept for the club has been brewing in Oudejans’s mind for some time, but it was only in January that the idea really began to gain momentum.

“Magicians, such as myself, have always been able to perform at places like the Cape Town Fringe Festival, but we have never had a consistent venue,” he said.

“The idea was really born about six years ago, when I met a magician from London. He told me about a great concept in London called Monday Night Magic, a showcase of top magicians. Monday Night Magic then spread to New York, and the idea to do a Cape Town equivalent percolated from there.”

Oudejans said he understood that if the Cape Town edition was to succeed, finding the right venue was key.

“The Cape Town Club is perfect, because it is so intimate. And the wonderful thing is that it allows magicians to feel like it is their club. We have formed a loose agreement with Monday Night Magic in London and New York, which allows magicians from those cities to perform in Cape Town, and our musicians to perform in those cities.”

Oudejans believes the addition of the club to the entertainment calendar will also have positive spin-offs for tourism in the city. “Before the show, I approached many hotel concierges in Cape Town. It struck me that where Cape Town has been lacking in the past is Monday night entertainment. We have so many tourists coming into the city, but then they have nowhere to go on a Monday. I think something like the Cape Town Magic Club could assist in filling that gap.”

The first season of the club runs until June 6, and along with Oudejans, audiences can look forward to performances by Robin Boltman, Bryan Miles, Mawonga Gayiya, Jacques le Sueur, Jesse Brooks and Andrew Eland.

Oudejans said it was interesting producing his own event, having spent the majority of his career as a corporate keynote speaker and magician. “In my professional capacity, I give talks to businesses about customer service, combining this with my shows. Many of my bookings are in Johannesburg, and I’ve also worked in Lagos and other parts of Africa. I think with the magic club, I have a chance to apply what I tell others to my own undertaking, which is very interesting.”

For further information, visit http://www.magic.capetown/