Experience magic at Artscape

Constantia "astonishment engineer" Jesse Brooks.

Smoke and mirrors, sleight of hand, and hypnotism are among the magical moments in store for audiences every Monday in the Opera Bar at Artscape.

Magicians, mentalists, hypnotists, escape artists, danger acts and other talented “astonishmentengineers”, from all over the country, will be performing in the Cape Town Magic Club’s seventh season.

The show also features the winning acts from this year’s Western Cape Junior Magician Championships (hosted by the College of Magic) and performances by Dion Wabanie from Khayelitsha, and Jamian Fortune of Bishop Lavis.

The show was created by the club’s founder and corporate magician, Marcel Oudejans, in March 2016. Since then, he has produced over 100 performances for over 4 000 audience members in intimate 60-seater theatre venues around the city.

Marcelsaysaudiences can see three or four world-class artists up close at each show.

Therearealmost 30 performers from all over the country.

“It’s essentially a smaller intimate version of the hugely popular show, The Illusionists,” says Marcel.

Last week, the Bulletin joined them at a rehearsal where nine performersdemonstrated their jaw-dropping acts.

Each magician has a different style – from hypnotism to stage illusions and comedy. None of them disappoint.

Up first was Dion Wabanie, youngest in the group and recent 2018 Western Cape Junior Magic winner in the stage category.

When he is not dreaming of becoming a chef, he is studying at the School of Magic in Claremont and attends Bergvliet High School.

He performed a cute set with African storytelling and wowed the audience with rubber balls.

Jesse Brooks and Andrew Klazinga might both live in Constantia but that’s where their similarities end.

Andrewrecently performedatthe National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. He studied psychiatry at Stellenbosch University and mechatronic engineering at UCT before starting his own robotics company.

He also does videography and photography and is a graduate of the College of Magic, where he taught for six years.

In Andrew’s performance, he uses telepathy, mental influence, and subliminal perception that make you gasp and smile in wonder.

Jesse learnt his first magic trick in Grade 2 and sold his tricycle to pay for his first magic set. He has performed magic from the Karoo to Hollywood.

He has also represented South Africa in Las Vegas at the IMX magic conference.

Jesse is passionate about spreading the wonder of magic.

“It’s a wonderful art form, not only for children but also for adults. Magic is a universal language that can be done without talking. The goal is to give audiences a positive experience as the stresses of the day are left behind as they get into the show.”

Andrew and Jesse agree that the show cannot be done without audience participation.

The plausibility of a magician’s trick lies in their gift for diverting attention elsewhere while making a quick switch.

They say that when someone sits in the front at a magic show, they have to be brave and be prepared to be picked on.

But it’s a highly pleasurable experience and you get to see the tricks up close.

Who knows, if you’re lucky, your magician might multiply your money as he borrows some notes.

Shows take place on Mondays during October and November, in the Opera Bar, Chandelier Foyer, level 2. Tickets are available at www.magic.capetown/tickets, or contact
Marcel Oudejans by email marcel@marcel.co.za, or call 083 229 9550.