It was not immediately clear if an inaugural event held at a venue cunningly named Truth on Monday night was a continuation of the global shakeup set in motion when the good people of once-cool Britannia voted to cut their final remaining tie to coolness by ‘Brexiting’.
It was also hard to shake the suspicion that this new weekly event, scheduled to run until March 27, signals the end of civilisation as we know it, even if that is already a disastrously eroded concept thanks to America’s election of the Orange Imposter.
If not exactly a continuation of the scrambling of the current world order, the sold-out launch of the Cape Town Magic Club’s third season, at Truth Coffee in Buitenkant Street in Cape Town, left us amazed and dumbstruck (a little bit like these earlier events), but very very amused and charmed too (nothing like these two other developments).
What these three events have in common, however, is that you just can’t believe what is happening even as it continues to unfold before your eyes. Some things belong in a magic club.
Marcel Oudejans, host and founder of the club, is on and off the stage all evening. He introduces other acts and throws in a few tricks, but mostly puts the spotlight on other performers. The opening night was a taster of quite a few different acts so sometimes we were left longing for more. Other nights will have fewer magicians so each magician, including Marcel, will do longer sets.
Matt Gore, the Ginger Ninja, warmed the audience up nicely with his slightly giggly, self-deprecating Ginger charm and classic, well-executed tricks. He keeps the audience just slightly off guard at all times, fooling around in a way that makes us believe for fleeting moments that we are not just having the wool pulled over our eyes by a well-built ginger Adonis in an exceptionally well-cut suit. Suspicion does linger, however.
Mawonga Gayiya bounced on to stage next. We were again disarmed and charmed, made to laugh and tricked and tricked and tricked. Comedy and magic, what a lovely combination. And there is more, I was told. Mawonga is working on a plan to take his magic into schools and combine it with motivational speaking to inspire young people. It is hard to think of a better platform to persuade youngsters that anything is possible and, to paraphrase the immortal words of Roald Dahl, If you don’t believe in magic, you just won’t see it.
Who knows what we can expect next? Mawonga Gayiya, the inspiring illusionist perhaps?
Next up on stage was Brendon Peel, who looks like he is hardly out of long socks and short pants but, boy, does he have a grown up sense of humour. Either this young man is the most extraordinary illusionist or an absolute maths genius. Using numbers randomly chosen by the audience, some of whom admitted to being quite drunk, he turned randomness into the most extraordinary order, giving us mere mortals the slightest glimpse of the beauty of maths … or maybe he just tricked us into thinking he was brilliant. Either way … he is brilliant.
Who knows what to believe on Monday nights at Truth. He also told us that Brendon Peel, his magician name, is also his porn name. I know it works, but is it true? Who knows.
Next up Alan Marriott was also concerned with the truth, but his way of divining it was a little bit of hypnosis and a lot of mind reading. Or was it? Was it true? Could he have? How did he trick us? Did America just elect Donald Trump? Enough said.
Marriott’s act was more convincing for me than it might normally have been (and at least a little more alarming) because my partner was his chosen “volunteer”. She looked totally hypnotised for a while, although she insists she was just chilling and following instructions. I am not convinced. One thing is for sure, though, this was no set-up.
The night ended on a real high with Andrew ‘Magic Man’ Eland, the consummate showman. His many years at the top of the game were very much in evidence as he delivered illusion after illusion at very high tempo. Many of his tricks are highly-polished versions of old favourites with coins and cards. They are delivered one after another at high speed with a big helping of charm. This is the slickest sleight-of-hand you will see and it is hard not to ask him to do it just one more time …
But that is what next week is for and the week after. There are different acts on every Monday night until March 27, each night will feature fewer acts but a bit more of each.
Truth Coffee in Buitenkant Street, which has been rather famously been named the best coffee shop in the world by some erstwhile kings of cool, is supposed to be dedicated to truth. But, the world is on its head, as we know. Stand on the sidelines feeling overwhelmed by it all or jump on the merry-go-round of fun and fantasy.
The venue, like the show, is all high-class magic.
Ticket Giveaway: Call Off The Search has two tickets to next week’s show, at 7pm on Monday 23 January, to give away. All you have to do to win is write to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us why we should give them to you (rather than use them ourselves) in 200 words or less or a picture (worth a 1000 words after all).
More info and tickets at https://www.magic.capetown/
– African News Agency (ANA)