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Thursday, 12 January 2012

Mat Ricardo's London Varieties opening night!

It is with an intoxicating cocktail of pleasure, excitement and sheer blinding terror that I am able to announce the details of the opening night of MAT RICARDO'S LONDON VARIETIES. Finally. I know.

The idea behind this project is to get the best performers from all of the places where you might see variety these days, and mix them together to create a series of unique, one-night-only line-ups. In addition to this, every month we'll invite an old hand - a master of their craft - or just someone I particularly love - to perform and then sit down with me for a live on stage interview about their life, career and influences.

The whole thing will be recorded as a podcast which you'll be able to download free from iTunes and The British Comedy Guide. But if you want to get the full experience you're going to want to see it live. This is the first show of season one, which will contain between 4 and 6 shows.

So, who's on the first show?


Howard Read is a comic, writer, animator and actor, in that order. He is best known for being one half (and the other half), of Big Howard, Little Howard, the world's first human cartoon double-act. He is also an acclaimed stand-up comic, writer, author, illustrator and animator.

Howard is the creator, star, song-writer and lead animator of the hit BBC1 children's show "Little Howard's Big Question". Described by The Daily Mail as "a joy, with clever scripts that ring true of that magical time of childhood, while, thanks to Big Howard, it's incredibly, achingly funny".

Little Howard started life as filler in Howard Read's first full length stand-up show in 2002. The next year he returned as part of a full double-act in The Big Howard Little Howard Show which was that year's only British Nominee for the presdigeous Perrier Award. Trips to the Aspen, Melbourne and New Zealand Comedy Festivals followed, including appearances on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (NBC) and The Melbourne Comedy Festival Gala (ABC). In 2007 they appeared on The Royal Variety Performance in front of Her Majesty The Queen, and just next to Michael Ball, in drag. Big Howard and Little Howard other TV appearances include This Morning (ITV1), The Slammer (BBC1), and Campbell Live (TV3 New Zealand).


Mandy is one of the funniest magicians I have ever seen. Witty, silly and incredibly clever, she's toured the world with her brilliant brand of comedy and illusion. The only time you'll stop laughing is when your jaw hits the floor.

"Imagine a sexy Tommy Cooper, minus the fez" - Evening standard


One of the most high energy circus acts Britain has produced, and a perfect example of the new generation of British variety performer. Craig's amazing act is in demand worldwide and we couldn't be happier to have him at the London Varieties.


Every career has a start, and mine - like anyone of my age who does the kind of thing I do - started on the street. I learned most of what I do in my years as a professional street performer at London's Covent Garden, so what better way to kick off the first season of the show than by inviting some of the UK's best street performers to sit down and chat about the life, and art, of a street performer. I'll be chatting to:


Rob worked for years in a street theatre double act with Eddie Izzard, and then went on to found Performance Theatre Company, where he used many of the core techniques of street performing to create several hit fringe theatre shows. He also throws knives.


Andre was working as a street performer when he was picked to be the clown in Circus Senso - the UK's first large scale new circus, in the 80's, which is when a teenage Mat Ricardo first saw him perform. Since then he's worked as an acclaimed actor and presenter, and is currently one of the UK's most in demand comedians.


Paddy travelled the globe and made the streets of Edinburgh his home, with just a tiny briefcase, a sharp wit, and the smartest mouth you could wish for. He taught me that if you have charisma and can talk, then you don't need anything else to pull a crowd and make a living. Since retiring from street performing went on to act, teach theatre and put that smart mouth to good use as a stand-up comic.


I'll be talking about, and showing archive footage of one of my favourite old variety acts,
and there's sure to be some very special surpirses...


This should be fun. I hope to see you there.

P.S. I've been nominated for a Time Out Audience Choice award, so if you like me, and you like voting, then hey - why not go here and vote for me? Thanks awfully. x


Dave2tone. said...

Wotcher. Hope this is the right place to ask- what time is the show likely to finish? Have booked tickets and need to know whether we can hop the last train home or need to get a b and b! Cheers!

Mat Ricardo said...

Show should finish between 10.30 and 11pm, so you should be ok for last trains. I have to get one too!

Thanks for booking tickets - hope you have fun!