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Mind Magic

June 14, 2011

Event: “Mind Magic” by Nique Tan
Venue: Jubilee Hall, Raffles Hotel
Date: 8th June 2011

Having been a keen student of the art of Magic for the greater part of my adult life, it was with great anticipation that I attended Nique Tan’s “Mind Magic” show last Wednesday evening at the Jubilee Hall.

The event was well-attended, the majority of whom I presumed were associated with the local magic scene in one way or other.

But an encouraging turnout, nonetheless.

Full-fledged ticketed magic shows by local magicians don’t come our way very often, so “Mind Magic” is a very pleasant surprise, though it must be pointed out that in recent years we have seen a number of local magicians gaining greater and greater prominence, with magic duo JC Sum and “Magic Babe” Ning leading the way.

Back to Nique Tan.

Nique’s show was purely a mentalism show, whereby all the acts had to do with magic of the mental variety.

The immediate personality that comes to mind might perhaps be popular UK mentalist Derren Brown, whose TV shows a number of years back captured the imagination of millions of viewers.

Nique started off slightly tentative, and one might suspect it had to do with a case of the nerves, which is completely understandable, but as the show wore on he started to get more comfortable in his own skin and charmed the audience with his humour and charisma.

His impromptu joke about “contact juggling” (when he unfortunately lost his right contact lens toward the end of the show) was easily the best line of the night!

Nique performed a good variety of effects, from floating table to “Russian Roulette” (involving staple guns!), which was nerve-wrecking to say the least.

His cold reading segment was astounding, as he even successfully “read” the thoughts and desires of a random audience member, while being blindfolded and sitting on a chair up on stage.

The audience member kept shaking his head in disbelief and saying “No way!” every time Nique successfully read his thoughts.

The prediction effects which probably drew the most “wows” were the one in the first act where he correctly induced an audience member to guess the total amount of money in the glass box hanging on stage, as well as the incredible finale act at the end of the show whereby he correctly predicted the word an audience member would choose after a long series of random actions (known as the “book test” in mentalism speak).

It was quite simply one of the most incredible book tests I had ever seen performed live.

At the end of the trick I turned to my friend next to me and we kept saying “No way!” to each other repeatedly.

It was that amazing.

All in all, I thought Nique Tan put up an impressive performance, and it is highly encouraging to see that more and more local magicians are stepping up and taking on bigger challenges by performing in larger venues.

I believe Lawrence and Priscilla Khong will be staging their magical theatre extravaganza “VISION” at the Esplanade Theatre next month, which would be yet another milestone for Singapore magic. (I’ve already got my tickets to that one!)

Here’s to a bright future ahead for the state of magic in Singapore.

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