Oudejans to talk his way out again

2015-09-22 06:00
Marcel Oudejans brings his latest show to the Cape Town Fringe Festival this week.

Marcel Oudejans brings his latest show to the Cape Town Fringe Festival this week.

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Comedy magician Marcel Oudejans is not just an entertainer. He sees himself as more of a “fun facilitator.”

The Pinelands resident will be doing a rare public show in Cape Town when he presents Sleight of Mouth 2: Now talk your way out of this! as part of the Cape Town Fringe Festival from Thursday.

The show is a sequel to Sleight of Mouth – The art of talking your way out of anything, which he performed at last year’s Fringe Festival. The show was incidentally also the last public show in Cape Town. This year though, Marcel has a whole lot of new tricks up his sleeve.

The new show features new magic, delivered in Marcel’s trademark witty “stand-up” style. There’s also more story-telling with anecdotes about his travels and experiences as a magician.

Performing magic for people who aren’t expecting it usually produces interesting results. On one occasion, for example, he stopped for lunch on his way to a show and decided to brighten someone’s day with a magic trick. “The woman freaked out because she had no one around to corroborate that it had actually happened.”

One could almost say Marcel’s comedy career started with people who weren’t expecting it. When other children were waiting tables, Marcel, who had already started doing shows at the Bellville Library over school holidays, was performing in restaurants for tips.

Today, Marcel is one of the ­country’s leading performers. In 2008 he was recognised as one of Africa’s ­leading magicians at the Vismayan International Magic Convention held in India.

Most of his work is for corporate events, where he acts as emcee or more recently, teaches people about the importance of “play” in the workplace or as he puts it “to take play seriously”.

Marcel explains that learning to have fun or embracing cultural arts, gives people a means to express themselves, something which is essential to understanding other people and having empathy.

He works with businesses to help them “create wow in customer service”, using magic to prove his point.

Customer service is something Marcel takes seriously and it’s important to him that his audiences feel like they are getting a genuine, sincere performance.

This is where his improvisation skills come in handy; giving him the ability to adapt to his audience and make his shows more interactive.

Although there’s a light narrative running through Sleight of Mouth 2: Now talk your way out of this!, Marcel doesn’t like the idea of a magic show that’s too scripted. “You want to make the audience feel like this is happening for the first time.”

His performance at the Fringe Festival is an opportunity to see another side of his extensive repertoire and escape reality for an hour.

Marcel says the festival itself is a chance to see a wide variety of productions, from theatre pieces to magic, in one place and urges Capetonians to buy tickets early and support the local performers on stage this year. V

Sleight of Mouth 2: Now talk your way out of this! will be on stage at Cape Town City Hall Theatre 3 at 19:30 on Thursday 24, Saturday 25, Tuesday 29 September and Friday 2 October. Shows will also run at 17:30 on Saturday 26 and Monday 28 September, at 15:00 on Sunday 27 September and at 13:05 on Thursday 1 October. Marcel will also be performing at the Alexander Bar at 13:05 on Tuesday 29 September. Tickets cost R70 or R63 (concessions) from the door or www.capetownfringe.co.za.

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