Tucked away in the bowels of the opulent Cape Town Club a book shelf acts as a hidden door, leading to a world of wonder. There, in a space reminiscent of a prohibition-era haunt, is where you’ll find the brand new Cape Town Magic Club. With some of South Africa’s top magic acts lined up for the clubs first season, the Cape Town Magic Club continues the tradition of Monday night Magic events which have been running in London and New York for more than 15 years already. It was Pinelands comedy magician Marcel Oudejans who decided to bring the concept to South Africa, after finding himself frustrated with the lack of regular magic shows in Cape Town. It all started six years ago during a conversation with Cape Town’s Jacques le Sueur and London’s John Lenahan about this very subject. “John shared his experiences about launching Monday Night Magic in London, and the idea of doing a weekly magic show similar to a comedy club where there would be several magicians on the bill,” Marcel explains. He and Jacques both agreed they liked the idea, but it was put on hold until about a year ago when Marcel saw the venue at the Cape Town Club in Queen Victoria Street, CBD. He had some very clear goals about what he wanted to achieve with the club. Marcel wanted to create a venue where audiences could regularly watch magic and be exposed to local talent, but also a diverse line up of magicians “with different styles, ages and talents to perform”.He wanted to create a platform for up-and-coming performers where they could gain experience and have a space to test new material and ideas and to “play” with his friends. The intimate 40-seater theatre gives audiences a chance to “see everything clearly”. In fact, Marcel says finding theatres suitable for magic is not an easy task. Despite being a performer for many years already, he only started producing theatre shows about four years ago and soon found: “Most theatres in Cape Town are too large.”“The few that are small are expensive to rent,” he explains, adding: “I wanted the audience to experience something more than just an ‘ordinary’ theatre.” The ‘Black Bar’ cellar of the Cape Town Club, designed by Sir Herbert Baker, already had all the makings of a “magical space”. “The fact that the ‘bookcase door’ existed already, together with the ‘speakeasy’ bar, and lots of comfortable seating meant that we only needed to provide the equipment to make the theatre and the whole experience would come together.”The Cape Town Magic Club officially opened its doors to audiences on Monday and magic fans can look forward to alternating performances by Marcel, Robin Boltman, Andrew “Magic Man” Eland, Bryan Miles, Jacques le Sueur, Mawonga Gayiya and Jesse Brooks for season one. The club will host two performances every Monday at 19:00 and 21:00 until 6 June, before the line-up for the next season is announced. V Tickets for Monday night Magic shows at the Cape Town Magic Club are available at Quicket.co.za. For more about the club’s schedule for season one, participating performers or dinner, visit www.magic.capetown or facebook.com/capetownmagic.