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MRMat styles himself as a ‘Gentleman Juggler’, a playfully archaic title, conjuring up visions of golden age of Variety and an air of suave sophistication. Mat certainly has that in abundance, but he is a hell of a lot more besides. In fact he seems to me to be something of a multi-tasking Renaissance juggling chameleon. While he is always true to his effortlessly droll persona, he is equally at home juggling in the streets, interviewing Paul Daniels in a theatre, compèring dodgy cabarets or on television selling insurance policies. While he’s built a career on his celebrated tablecloth stunt, he always seems to be learning something new; it’s hard to have a conversation with Mat without him explaining the challenges and intricacies of some new trick that he’s working on with cigar boxes or beer bottles or bowling balls or electric steak knives. For all his extraordinary invention, I’ll never tire of the deceptive simplicity of watching Mat spend half an hour building up the tension before pulling off (and putting back on) that tablecloth in front of a cheering, frenzied and completely captivated crowd – and I’ll never know how he does it.

Mat Ricardo website

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