Something magical is heading your way people of Cape Town, and I think you are going to like it! The Cape Town Magic Club, the brainchild of seasoned performer Marcel Oudejans, is moving into the historical heart of Cape Town to delight and entertain all in the international style of the ‘Monday Night Magic’ shows.
Located in the intimate 40 seater Cape Town Club, the Cape Town Magic Club will offer patrons a rare opportunity to see top local magicians perform their own unique brands of illusion, sleight of hand and mentalism in an exclusive venue. Patrons can mingle with the performers at the theatre bar both before and after the show or turn it into a real night out and make a dinner reservation at the Cape Town Club’s outstanding restaurant, QVS18.
With all this magical movement right under our noses, Theatre Scene (TS) simply had to get the #lovetheatre scoop from Marcel (MO) himself, before the Club kicks off Season 1 with its 10 nights of magic every Monday from 4 April 2016!
TS: Cape Town Magic Club promises audiences “an unusual and unforgettable magical experience, with retro-styling and a modern twist”. What makes this experience different from all the other magic shows we have seen in and around Cape Town over the last few years?
MO: Firstly, the theatre itself is unique. This a custom-designed theatre specially created for a magic show. It’s an intimate space so that you can see everything, yet big enough to create a theatrical atmosphere. The theatre is located in the cellar of a beautiful historical building that is the Cape Town Club, a private “members only” club. The building was designed by Sir Herbert Baker and it’s quite opulent.
Secondly, the magicians that will be performing and the format of the show. It’s rare that you would be able to see 3 magicians (the host, support act & headliner) perform in one show. But here you can see a range of different performance styles and even performer ages - we’ve booked the legendary performers, the current stars, as well as the young up-and-coming acts.
Thirdly, it’s the consistency. This is the first time that Africa will have a weekly public magic show for a season of 10 weeks. Each week the line-up changes, so that we never have a repeat of the same acts in a different week. Then we’ll take a break and cast new performers for Season 2. The idea is to create a ‘home’ for magic where audiences can regularly see the very best of our local magical talent.
TS: What about magic as a theatrical experience do you think captures the imagination of young and old?
MO: I think it’s playful, fantastical yet it’s ‘reality’ nature of magic. In plays, the audience is often required to imagine scenery and props - in magic, we’re very aware of the physical ‘reality’ of the props used. So that means you see something ‘real’ in front of you, and while your brain is fooled, you know that it can’t be possible. Children live is that state of astonishment for their early years, everything is wonderful and surprising. As we grow older, we become jaded and so when we experience the astonishment and wonder that magic can create, it takes us be to our early years. There’s very few experiences that aren’t magic that can do that.
TS: For your Cape Town Magic Club shows, will there be an age limit?
MO: Yes. We’re an ‘adult’ venue, but we do want to make the show accessible so our age restriction is 13-and-over. Our performers are mostly used to performing for adults, so there may the occasional ‘naughty’ joke but nothing crude.
TS: Tell me more about the international ‘Monday Night Magic’ association.
MO: UK-based magician John Lenahan started ‘Monday Night Magic’ in London in 1996 as a way to showcase the local magicians there. A few years later, a group of magicians in New York asked John if he would share the concept with them, which he did. ‘Monday Night Magic’, is New York’s longest-running Off-Broadway magic show and is produced by Michael Chaut, Frank Brents, Todd Robbins, Peter Samelson, and Jamy Ian Swiss.
About 6 years ago John then came to Cape Town for a comedy festival, where the concept was discussed with Jacques le Sueur & I over a few beers. So when I decided to create Cape Town Magic Club, the idea of ‘Monday Night Magic’ was introduced again.
After making a few Skype calls, John in the UK and the NY team decided that that CTMC could associate with their ‘Monday Night Magic’-brand … as long as any of them are allowed to perform at our Club. Which we said Yes to, of course! So hopefully we’ll be able to see the international acts come guest perform in the next few months.
TS: Will there be any 'unexpected' magical surprises on the menu as an extra treat for audiences?
MO: Haha! Well, a magician doesn’t give away his secrets of course ;-)
TS: Cape Town appears to be the magic hub of South Africa, why is that?
MO: The College of Magic is based in Cape Town & it’s internationally respected for the work it does in training youngsters in the Art of Magic. If the College wasn’t around, I think we’d average about the same number of magicians that any major city has.
TS: Seeing as you have been performing magic since age 9, what inspired you to embrace magic as a career?
MO: I was performing part-time while I had a job and then I decided I would have more fun creating a career in magic, as long as I could make it a business.
TS: What is your most memorable audience reaction to a performance?
MO: People screaming when I perform!
TS: What would your advice be to anyone who says they would like to be a professional magician?
MO: Make sure that you have a backup career or qualification because you’ll need to perform many many hours where you won’t be paid enough to make it work as a job. It takes about 10 years of regular performance before you can earn enough as an entertainer/performer.
Now after Marcel sharing his excitement for the launch of the Cape Town Magic Club, and just his general love for magic, how can you not want to go see what the boys have planned?! Season 1 runs for 10 nights, two performances per night (19h00 & 21h00), from 4 April to 6 June 2016. Tickets available online via Quicket.co.za at R150pp.