Matt Roper

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Matt Roper
Stephen Carlin, Matt Roper and Will Mars II.png
Matt Roper (centre) in London, 2015
Born 1977
Medium Character comedy,
Alter egos, Stand up, Satire
Nationality British
Years active 1997–present
Notable works and roles Wilfredo, The Greatest Show on Legs

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 Theatre 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 Spain,[12] Italy,[13][14] the Czech Republic,[15] Germany,[16] Hungary,[17] Slovakia,[18] South Africa[19] and Argentina.[20][21]

At the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Roper has presented three feature length solo shows, Wilfredo: Erecto! (2011), The Wonderful World of Wilfredo (2012) and Wilfredo: Deconstructed (2014). Drawing positive comment and reviews in the press, Wilfredo is described by the Guardian newspaper as "weird, intimate and wonderful"[22] and by Time Out as "an extraordinary creation who cuts a hacking, spluttering, beer dribbling figure upon the stage".[23] The comedy industry website Chortle observes 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."[24]

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)[25] 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.[26]

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.[27]

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.[28]

With comedian Pippa Evans under the guise of 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.[29] An accompanying video was released on 13 December, featuring cameos by Arthur Smith, Imran Yusuf, Ruth Bratt and Thom Tuck, via BBC Three.[30] Also with Evans, he co-wrote and recorded the single 'Peace All Over The World (At Christmas Time)', released 8 December 2014 and reportedly banned by BBC Radio 2 who were "worried that sensitive daytime listeners would be offended".[31]

In September 2014, Roper joined the line-up of the surreal sketch comedy group The Greatest Show on Legs, debuting in Leipzig, Germany.[32]

Matt Roper is the son of the late British comedian George Roper.[33] He is a supporter of the Burma Campaign UK.[34] Roper blogs for the Huffington Post's UK edition[35] and is currently a writer for PictureBox Films; an SVOD division of NBC Universal Pictures.


  • Happy Goddamn Christmas - Loretta Maine feat. Matt Roper (single, 2012)
  • The Wonderful World of Wilfredo - Wilfredo (album, 2014)
  • Peace All Over the World (At Christmas Time) - Wilfredo feat. the Great Carmella (single, 2014)
  • Wilfredo Unchained: Live in California - Wilfredo (album, 2015)


  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. ^ [2] Showtime Tenerife: Wilfredo, Kai Humphries, Daniel Simonsen, Jessica Fostekew - Sept 20 2014
  13. ^ Corriere del Mezzogiorno Wilfredo, il Rock visto da Granada
  14. ^ Wilfredo, Un Uomo e La Sua Musica. A Nardò il fenomeno lounge dell'Inghilterra
  15. ^ [3] Alex Frackleton, Wilfredo (UK) Open Air Metamorphisis. Hradec Králové, Czech Rep. Fri 27 June 2014
  16. ^ [4] 'KarliBebenRückschau' Karli Beben - Feinkost Blog Sept 2014
  17. ^ [5] 'Unique Character Act To Perform in Budapest' Daily Hungary 21 June 2014
  18. ^ [6] 'Character Performer in Bratislava on Thursday' Slovakia Daily 21 June 2014
  19. ^ [7] 'Cape Town Funny Festival: Line-up' 11 June 2013
  20. ^ [8] Inside Buenos Aires 10–17 March 2014
  21. ^ [9] Feeling Funny In Buenos Aires? You’re not alone. | What's Up Gringo? Magazine
  22. ^ The Guardian – Edinburgh Festival 2011, Isy Suttie: My Edinburgh 02-09-11
  23. ^ Soundcloud Ben Walters reviews Wilfredo: Erecto for Time Out, retrieved 02-09-11
  24. ^ Chortle Edinburgh Fringe 2011 – Wilfredo: Erecto! review, retrieved 02-09-11
  25. ^ BBC – BBC Radio 4 Extra Programmes What's So Funny? Episode 12, Series 1. Broadcast Fri 24 June 2011 – Retrieved 27 June 2011
  26. ^ BBC – BBC Radio 4 Extra Programmes The Comedy Club Interviews. Broadcast Sunday 25 December 2011 – Retrieved 1 January 2012
  27. ^ Brighton Fringe Interview: Matt Roper, The New Current, retrieved 26-05-11
  28. ^ British Theatre Guide British Theatre Guide – Retrieved 20 February 2013
  29. ^ [10] 'Happy Goddamn Christmas'
  30. ^ [11] BBC Three Comedy: Happy Goddamn Christmas
  31. ^ London Evening Standard | Wilfredo and Carmella’s BBC blackout Published: 15 December 2014
  32. ^ The John Fleming Blog 15 September 2014
  33. ^ Manchester Evening News Stars bid farewell to comic pal
  34. ^ Burma Campaign UK Celebrate Aung San Suu Kyi's 65th birthday – Retrieved 6 August 2010
  35. ^ 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.