Review: Epique by Nique Tan

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: Review by Lucian J.”][vc_column_text]I have seen Nique Tan evolve over the years from a talented and immensely skilled sleight of hand wunderkind to a sophisticated and knowledgeable mentalist, ala Gary Kurtz. In this well laid out monograph, he shares with us his brilliantly thought out parlour version of Hen Fetch’s venerable Mental Epic.

Using innocuous everyday minimalist props, his version plays for maximum visibility and impact. He eliminates the inherent inconsistencies in the usual artifices for both the selection of the three choices and the subsequent three revelations. He also shares with us his patter story line, which I found most valuable. It is an approach that is logical, eliminates the heat on the selections and reduces the risk of inadvertent awkwardness caused by difficult spectators. This makes the process relatively stress free and extremely direct.

Nique uses index cards and is extremely thorough in explaining his handling of the index cards with all the little touches and nuances that elevate the routine into a true worker. It is obvious that this is no pipe dream but a working gem that Nique has honed and refined so that it flows elegantly and seamlessly.

The handling is well within the ability of most mentalists and Nique explains everything in detail including finger positions. If you can do a double lift, you should be able to perform Epique with some practice. Nique also explains the sightlines, angles and blocking needed when performing, which is straightforward in execution.

As a caveat, Nique suggests using existing published methods for the third selection and gives clear references for his preferences, so the purchaser with have to do a little research, though it is likely that anyone purchasing a professional routine of this calibre will already have their own preferred method.

In a nutshell, Epique is truly epic and is a particularly worthwhile addition to the canon of mental epic variations and mentalism in general.

Highly recommended.  

[usr 10][/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: Madame Curator”][vc_column_text]I first fell in love with mentalism reading the works of Theodore Annemann many years ago. It’s my favourite genre of magic, though purists would consider it to be completely separate from the art of legerdemain itself. Personally, I believe it takes a sophisticated performer with much experience and maturity to pull off a solid mentalism repertoire.

One such person is Singaporean sleight of hand maestro, Nique Tan. A showman of many skills; respected mentalist, award-wining magician, well-loved singer (as seen on TV)… plus dashing Storm Trooper in disguise!

Having been there done that (performing mentalism like my Mind Heist event back in 2012, not Storm Trooper-ing) I believe it takes much quick thinking on your feet and the gift of gab (even improv) to be a solid mentalist. With lots of interactivity and chances of things going wrong if not for good audience management and experience, mentalism is on a different level of entertainment, compared to a magician performing his well-rehearsed stage act to music, and the audience knows… and expects it.

As a professional with much pride, Tan has spent years honing his craft and has just released Epique, which is his spin on the well loved mentalism classic, Mental Epic. It’s a clever play of the original name, along with Tan’s name; but even more brilliant is his streamline of using “everyday objects”. All you need are regular index cards, a grease pencil (I use a marker)… besides two hands and a working brain 😉

Using a casino themed presentation with three members of the audience for Epique, Tan’s eBook is well written with adequate instructions and clear pictures, which are detailed enough for even a novice to understand.

Some simple sleight-of-hand work is needed, but it is nothing complicated. However, this is definitely not a routine you can immediately start performing right after finishing the read. Rehearsing and practising is definitely required after understanding what is needed, else this may happen to you…


…and you wouldn’t want that, right? Right.

Now, while I personally enjoyed the read (Tan’s Epique manuscript is a very easily digestible 30 pages), I did wish Tan included videos of his performance via a private YouTube link. Seeing it done IRL would have been super, but I guess I’m just nitpicking 😛

Besides the mentalism masters whose works Tan was inspired by and thus credited in the last page of his book, I also think Paul Romhany’s Mental Epic Compendium is a truly awesome read if you’re interested in Hen Fetch’s brilliant board, the masterpiece which started it all.

So! If you’re a keen student of mentalism looking for a contemporary (no board) version of Mental Epic that uses the bare minimum of props for maximum visibility and more importantly with all things seemingly clear, consistent, fair and believable, Nique Tan’s personal reboot Epique may just be the book for you.

[usr 7.5]

Please support intellectual property. Only buy original.

Available directly from Nique Tan at SGD$20 from

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Ning Cai is a Singapore Literature Prize nominated author, who was also long listed for the Epigram Books Fiction Prize in 2016. A bestselling writer, she is also recognised for her illusionist/ escapologist stage character Magic Babe Ning, and recognised by Channel News Asia as South East Asia's first professional female magician.

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