Last Friday the full housed Nrityakala Auditorium was spell bounded by a one-man close up magic and mentalism show. Veteran Magician and mentalist Mainul Khan performed a solo show in front of 500 people in an auditorium, which has only the capacity of 350 people.
Magician Mainul Khan is a professional architect, who fell in love with magic when he was just 10 years old. He started performing from his teenage years in Satkhira. In 1963 he got admitted in architecture at BUET and later went to Saudi Arabia to work as an architect with a government job, which he continued for 18 years.
During these years he performed for the royal families, Saudi television and worked as a close up magician at Hotel Intercontinental on the weekends. He performed in several countries including America, England, India, and Thailand. He is well known in the international magician community for his unique style in close up magic and mentalism. He was awarded the order of Merlin and the order of Merlin Shield for his contribution to magic from the largest magician’s organization IBM (International Brotherhood f Magicians).
Though the show was supposed to be only for the selected guests. Due to visitor’s pressure, the gate was open for all, and the organizers had to arrange for extra seats. Lots of people sat on the ground and stood on the back to see the show to the end.
A master in sleight of hand, Mainul started his show with a coin magic which disappeared and turned to a bottle of cola. Then he tried to teach a spectator one of the oldest magic tricks in the world: the linking rings. He quickly made the audience member the star of the show, after teaching him how to link two solid stainless steel rings. The audience was hysterics when the rings began to link in every possible combination, and then melt apart like rings of smoke, as the invited audience member desperately tried to keep up. He then did his personal favourite, the cup and ball routine: Where a ball vanishes and appears inside a cup, and then turned into four big apples. This trick was followed by the some of his famous sleight of hand and close up tricks where the balls appeared and vanished from the spectator’s hands.
After a ten-minute break the second part of the show begun. This part was all about mental magic. Mainul Khan enthralled the audience by reading minds. He started with a randomly chosen word from the dictionary, then predicted a random number chosen by three different audience members.
The audience applauded as well as laughed throughout the show because of the amazing sense of humour of Mainul. This was not a show with big props, but thanks to the showmanship of Mainul Khan, all spectators, which included people of different ages and classes were thoroughly entertained.
The audience was awed by the magic, laughed at his off the cuff jokes and applauded after every effect. I believe, just like me, they went back home with something to remember for the years to come. After the show, we had the opportunity for a small interview. I asked him about the magic style and the future of magic.
He said that close up and mental magic may not always draw audience in an auditorium as the big illusion shows, however both of these styles are most revered and give an everlasting impression in the audience’s mind. It is because these are more personal to the audience members and things happen right at their hands.
He thinks the future is bright for magic and especially for these styles, as this is getting more popularity among the people for the last few years and many promising magicians are coming out.