Matt Roper

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Matt Roper
Matt Roper by Andy Hollingworth
London 2010
Medium Character comedy,
Alter egos, Stand up, Satire
Nationality British
Years active 1997–present
Notable works and roles Wilfredo

Matt Roper is a British comedian, writer and musician who made his stand-up debut in the mid-1990s.

He is an alumnus of the Young People's Theater Company Oldham Theatre Workshop,[1] where his contemporaries included the actors Anna Friel and Suranne Jones.

He is noted for his work as a writer-performer in sketch comedy and revue on the London fringe; the satirical sketch show Newsrevue at the Canal Cafe Theatre, Nice Mischief and A Touch of Roberts and Roper[2] at Jermyn Street Theatre. Performing stand-up comedy, he became one of the first comics to play the Manchester Comedy Store, appearing regularly at the Buzz Club and in the East Dulwich Cabaret's All New Stand-up Show.[1]

He is currently gaining prominence with his creation of the stage character Wilfredo, a grotesque satire of a Mediterranean romantic singer. The character is notoriously ill-mannered; frequently salivating onstage, drinking and smoking his way throughout songs, while berating his musicians and audience members with insults and expletives.[1][3] The character has divided critics, leading them to proclaim him as "strangely endearing",[4] "utterly charming and uplifting",[5] "unlikeable",[6] "quite inappropriate"[7] and "a genius creation".[7]

With Wilfredo and his band, Roper has toured the British summer festival circuit, counting the Glastonbury Festival[8][9][10] among his successes on several occasions. In July 2010 Wilfredo became the surprise hit of the Port Eliot Literary Festival, appearing onstage with Jarvis Cocker.[11] Roper has presented the character at the Café de Paris, the Tobacco Factory in Bristol, Brighton Komedia and at London's Leicester Square Theatre. He has also performed the character onstage in Italy, South Africa and the United States to critical and public acclaim.[12][13]

In June 2011 Roper appeared as Wilfredo in the first series of Rufus Hound's What's So Funny? for BBC Radio 7 (now BBC Radio 4 Extra)[14] in addition to an appearance on Arthur Smith's Pissed Up Chat Show at the E4 Udderbelly at the Southbank Centre. In December 2011 Wilfredo recorded the Christmas Day edition of The Comedy Club Interviews for BBC Radio 4 Extra.[15]

At the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Roper has presented two feature length solo shows, Wilfredo: Erecto! in 2011 and The Wonderful World of Wilfredo in 2012. Both shows received positive comment and reviews in the press, described by the Guardian newspaper as "weird, intimate and wonderful"[16] and by Time Out as "an extraordinary creation who cuts a hacking, spluttering, beer dribbling figure upon the stage".[17] The comedy industry website Chortle observed the character as "cantankerous, often lecherous and almost certainly consumptive, coughing and burping his way through the set, at one point hacking up phlegm like a horse chewing a toffee."[18]

In May 2011 Roper played the Devil in Terry Newman's political satire Lucifer: My Part In The New Labour Project (And How I Invented Coalition Government) – a multi-character solo performance – in London and for the Brighton Festival.[19]

At the 2012 Edinburgh Festival, Roper appeared opposite Phil Nichol in a one-off performance at the Traverse Theatre for Theatre Uncut's season of radical playlets, playing an advertising executive representing a global corporation, in Indulge by the Icelandic playwright Andri Snaer Magnuson.[20]

With Loretta Maine, he co-wrote and recorded the song 'Happy Goddamn Christmas', released on 1 December 2012, peaking at No. 6 on the iTunes UK Comedy Charts.[21] An accompanying video was released on 13 December, featuring cameos by Arthur Smith, Imran Yusuf, Ruth Bratt and Thom Tuck, via BBC Three.[22]

Matt Roper is the son of the late British comedian George Roper.[23] He is a supporter of the Burma Campaign UK.[24] Roper blogs for the Huffington Post's UK edition[25] and is currently a writer for PictureBox Films; an SVOD division of NBC Universal Pictures.


  1. ^ a b c [1] Entry for Matt Roper – Retrieved 15 February 2011
  2. ^ UK Theatre Web
  3. ^ Camden New Journal – retrieved 21-07-10
  4. ^ Wilfredo: Erecto! Review – Edinburgh Festival Fringe, retrieved 30-08-12
  5. ^ ED2011 Wilfredo: Erecto! Review – Three Weeks, Three Weeks, retrieved 08-01-12
  6. ^ The List – Bizarre and creepy cruise ship act The List – Wilfredo: Erecto!, ret. 30-08-12
  7. ^ a b Review: The Wonderful World Of Wilfredo – Retrieved 30 August 2012
  8. ^ Glastonbury Festival 2010
  9. ^ Off The Wagon – Balkan beats and gypsy music
  10. ^ Glastonbury Line-up 2010
  11. ^ Matt Roper and Jackie Juno a double bill at the Totnes Festival, PRSD, retrieved 15-09-10
  12. ^ Corriere del Mezzogiorno Wilfredo, il Rock visto da Granada
  13. ^ Wilfredo, Un Uomo e La Sua Musica. A Nardò il fenomeno lounge dell'Inghilterra
  14. ^ BBC – BBC Radio 4 Extra Programmes What's So Funny? Episode 12, Series 1. Broadcast Fri 24 June 2011 – Retrieved 27 June 2011
  15. ^ BBC – BBC Radio 4 Extra Programmes The Comedy Club Interviews. Broadcast Sun 25 December 2011 – Retrieved 1 January 2012
  16. ^ The Guardian – Edinburgh Festival 2011, Isy Suttie: My Edinburgh 02-09-11
  17. ^ Soundcloud Ben Walters reviews Wilfredo: Erecto for Time Out, retrieved 02-09-11
  18. ^ Chortle Edinburgh Fringe 2011 – Wilfredo: Erecto! review, retrieved 02-09-11
  19. ^ Brighton Fringe Interview: Matt Roper, The New Current, retrieved 26-05-11
  20. ^ British Theatre Guide British Theatre Guide – Retrieved 20 February 2013
  21. ^ [2] 'Happy Goddamn Christmas'
  22. ^ [3] BBC Three Comedy: Happy Goddamn Christmas
  23. ^ Manchester Evening News Stars bid farewell to comic pal
  24. ^ Burma Campaign UK Celebrate Aung San Suu Kyi's 65th birthday – Retrieved 6 August 2010
  25. ^ Huffington Post Matt Roper at the Huffington Post United Kingdom – Retrieved 30 August 2012

External links[edit]

  • So It Goes – An Interview with Matt Roper So It Goes. John Fleming: 'The indiscreet charm of a slobbering, innocent singer at the Edinburgh Fringe'. Matt Roper Interviewed.
  • Matt Roper at the Huffington Post Profile.
  • Youtube – Wilfredo in performance at the Komedia for the Brighton Festival Fringe.
  • Vimeo Port Eliot Festival: Lucia Helenka films the 2010 festival and asks a host of performers including Stephen Jones, Jarvis Cocker, Anna Sui, Anita Pallenberg, Barbara Hulanicki, Wilfredo and more what makes Port Eliot so special for them.