Matt Roper: Wilfredo Deconstructed @ Heroes at the Hive

Review by Ben Venables | 22 Aug 2014
  • Matt Roper: Wilfredo Deconstructed

Looking like a monstrous twin of Julio Iglesias, Matt Roper's Wilfredo guides the audience to their seats with surprising hospitality. The music, provided by “Uncle Ignacio” on guitar, is sublime, and for the stench emanating from the Hives basement, Wilfredo even provides an incense stick.

This is a show of wine, women and song. Wilfredo seduces wives with pink roses and flattery before moving from the charm to the crass: 'I've done all the work for you' he says to a husband. Only once is the pace of this show interrupted. A routine based on repetition goes on a beat too long but overall this is great fun. His Tweedledum figure makes for an appropriately ludicrous spectacle when he shows off his dance moves (as we'd expect) but then there's nothing flamboyant about his cover of Valerie, which is, frankly, really good.

For this is a cabaret performance much closer to the real thing than you might have believed possible on arrival. For all the Spanish crooner parody (which could so easily descend into dated, 2D 'funny foreigner' stuff) the joke is perhaps on us. For Wilfredo delivers on his promises and the audience are charmed and uplifted by this smooth talker from what is a clever, but also a feel good, show. Leaving Wilfredo after only one hour is not easy, but what an hour.

Matt Roper: Wilfredo Deconstructed @ Heroes at the Hive, 1-24 August, 6.30pm, £5