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Saturday, 26 September 2015

A week in September

So, here was my week.

Up stupid early. Espresso. Trundle case down potholed streets to my local station. Sucking on an apple candy I got in Korea while in Essex on the way to the Seychelles. Yes.

Heathrow express. A ten minute journey that still feels the need to try to upsell you to its spacious first class cabin with complimentary drinks. What kind of douchenozzle business traveller is so fragile that he feels the need to be in first class for the bloody airport shuttle? Anyway.

I get checked in by two bloody wonderful rum south London women, who are flabbergasted that I'm only going go to be in the Seychelles for one day. They immediately start aggressively flirting, telling me that they should come with me and that we should all stay for the whole week, while cackling at me. They weasel out of me what I do, and ask me my opinions about Americas got talent, recently won by fellow Brit Paul Zerdin. I spill some gossip, mention that since there were so many non-Americans in the final this year, it must be safe to say that America no longer has talent, and they hoot with laughter and tell me what a nice man I am. Then they move some seats around so I have a whole row to myself. Thanks ladies. They wave goodbye, shouting after me that next time I'd better take them with me.

More coffee. Big breakfast. I always eat a big meal before I get on a long flight. As a vegetarian, you can never be sure what creative and terrifying interpretation of my diet an airline is going to slide onto my tray table. I once got a single, huge, slimy mushroom.

At the other end I'm met by Kim. Militarily efficient. "Are you mat? K, let's go" which only adds to the feeling I always have on gigs like these, of being a hired assassin. In and out before anyone realises whats gone down.

It's early morning by the time I get to my hotel, so of course my room isn't ready yet. I'm tired from the flight. Feel covered in a thin slimy film of foggy exhaustion, so I'm a bit grumpy. "Would you like a coffee by the ocean while you wait?" the grumpyness vanishes pretty quick.

They serve me a spectacular espresso.. All treacley and gorgeous, and a mayalsian diet coke that, according to the label,contains sugar. It also rather delighted fully tastes of cardamon. There are worse ways to spend a Sunday morning than sipping on it while I stare out at the perfect green and blue stripes of the horizon and feel the warm salt air on my face.

Once my room is ready, I dump my stuff and go for a swim. Best way to kill the tramps mouth feeling of jetlag, I've found. Then some nice room service and I'm ready to go to work.

A driver arrives to pick me up, and eyeing my suit, says "you look slick, man. You're....a magician?" Close I tell him, juggler. "Juggler? Well maaan that's even better!". YES. YES IT IS.

As we bounce around the island roads to the show he points out local ares of interest. Rocks that make a bong when you hit them, his house, and some naturally occurring steps down to the sea where, he assures me, there is probably some kind of sea monster. Oh, and a huge rock that looks exactly like a pig. Well, it looks a bit like a pig, from certain angles, but he's convinced it's a porcine doppleganger of the first order. "How can you explain that? You cannot. YOU CANNOT". Well, alright then.

A few hours later and I'm back at the hotel. Another swim, this time in the dark, some more room service, and in no time I'm back on a plane heading home.

One day to decompress and then I'm back on stage at the London Wonderground on the banks of the Thames. Love this venue. First time I played it, which was, I think, with Al Murray, I felt a little intimidated by the scale of it, but these days I feel right at home. I was part of Lili La Scalas "Another Fucking Variety Show" - a show I'm a regular cast member of when it plays the Edinburgh fringe, but since I wasn't there this year, it felt great to rejoin the family, as it were. I had a very fun set, and stayed around to watch the rest of the excellent show and take some photos.

Friday night saw me back with Lili, along with a cast of swashbuckling low-life, for the Salon Des Artistes cabaret at the Cafe Royal. Intimate, beautiful room, and everyone was on fire tonight. Headliners Eastend Cabaret took the roof off the place, topped only by Lili's final song which brought the audience to their feet. What a fine way to make a living.

One more private show, and then I'm slipping out of the country for a week for a little holiday. I know it might seem that much of my life falls into that category, but trust me, there's a big difference between what I did this week - lugging some suitcases full of props halfway across the world, plagued by nerves, stress, and knowing you have to deliver whatever the circumstances, making sure you find a way to make your work succeed in whatever venue or audience gets thrown at you, no matter how jetlagged, tired or unsure you feel - and spending a week wandering around somewhere beautiful, looking at, eating and drinking delightful things, with Mrs.Ricardo.

Oh, and if you like my photography, please do follow me on instagram - I post many more photos and videos there than you'll see here. Thanks!

When I get back, I've got a handful of UK tour dates, so if you're near any of these places, or know someone who is, get yourself in my audience...
Friday October 9 - now on sale
Palace Theatre, Westcliff on Sea

Saturday October 10th- now on sale
The Quay Theatre, Sudbury

Saturday October 24th- now on sale
The Otley Courthouse Theatre, Otley

Tuesday October 27th- now on sale
The Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis

Thursday December 3 - now on sale
AGB Overpelt afdeling Palethe, Overpelt, Belgium

Friday December 4 - now on sale
CC de Werft, Geel, Belgium

..and here's a taster of what you might see...

Mat Ricardo mini showreel 2015 from Mat Ricardo on Vimeo.

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