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Three Balls and a New Suit
Published on Wednesday, 11 April 2012


Komedia Studio (venue website)
7 May, 7:00pm-8:00pm; 17 May, 7:10pm-8:00pm

 Suitable for age 15+ only.
 Warning: Contains flashing lights.
 Warning: Contains strong language.

There’s nothing like cheering for the underdog – and, as juggler-cum-raconteur Mat Ricardo is quick to admit, his particular art-form is one of the most undervalued of all.  So at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, we were thrilled to see Three Balls and a New Suit pick up a prestigious Herald Angel award, complete with a glowing 5-star review from the eponymous Scottish paper.

But we were there long before the Herald showed up.  Reviewing an earlier version of this show, FringeGuru’s Richard Stamp praised Ricardo’s compellingly personal story – filled with bittersweet reminiscences of a life spent travelling, and with a hint of the inner darkness that lay behind his craft.  All the same, it’s the hilarious (and often racy) anecdotes which stick most in the mind; no doubt they’ve been embellished in the telling, but there’s plenty of raw material in this born-entertainer’s colourful life.

We were wowed, too, by the physical skill – there are spinning tea-cups, flying cigar-boxes and a new twist on that pulling-the-tablecloth trick, all contributing to a gloriously entertaining hour.  It’s subtler and more skilful than street-performer showboating, and seeing it up-close makes it more impressive still.  It’s a wildcard pick, this one, and it won’t be to everyone’s taste… but go with an open mind, and you might find you admire the juggler’s art more than you ever knew.

Read our full review of Mat Ricardo's earlier show at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2010.

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These are archived reviews of shows from Brighton 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.