Having wowed both critics and audiences with last year’s show (read our review here), the charismatic entertainer is back – and with plenty to say for himself...
Hello, what’s your name, and what on earth are you going to be doing in Edinburgh this August?
I’m Wilfredo. The singer, poet and performer. Recording star, cabaret success, festival attraction, Glastonbury icon, winner of three Golden Sphincter Awards, global heart-throb and the beautiful subject of a stunning up-and-coming documentary film.
I’m back for a second time in Edinburgh, charming the birds from the trees and the pants off all the ladies with one magnificent swoop of my beautiful, distinctive, incomparable voice. Isn’t my English fantastic for a second language?
Tell us more about your show...
It’s called The Wonderful World of Wilfredo, the follow-up to last year’s show Wilfredo: Erecto!. It’s a fantastic hour of melodic, unforgettable song. Tales from my life. Some surprises too. All new to the precious Edinburgh ear, except The Child Is Not Mine, my signature song. I’d be lynched if I didn’t do it.
My show last year (coughs) was sensational for the audiences and critics too. My Uncle Ignacio will be accompanying me again on the guitar.
There will be laughs, tears of joy, and my audience always leave the show not only completely happy but showered with the petals of freshly cut flowers from the finest florists in town. Actually they’re bought from that little Tesco down by Holyrood. On the way to the show I push my producer, Trudi Stevens, out of the passenger door of the car - into the rain - to go in and get them quickly and make sure they’re on reduced.
How are you preparing for your marathon Fringe run?
As we speak, I’m listening to my back catalogue of multi-platinum selling albums, deciding which songs to sing at the fringe. So I’m writing the English lyrics and I’m familiarising myself with those songs again. (coughs) That’s about it.
Other than that I don’t need any preparing. I just get to the venue, soundcheck, remind Trudi to get my beer, get dressed, go out to the audience and entertain them. It’s quite simple. I’m not a brush that doesn’t sweep. It’s me. Natural. One hundred per cent talent. Which is why I don’t need a big PR campaign behind me. No need to create anything. It’s all there. Just project what’s already there. One hundred percent pure talent.
Food and/or drink – what do you take to keep you going through the madness?
My Uncle Ignacio will cook every day for us which is fantastic. He knows what I like to eat and what is good for me. He cooks well. A taste of Granada. What you people call “comfort food”. The best. And in the evening I’ll start the show with a beer onstage with a toast to me and the audience for a good relationship between us.
My show finishes at eleven-thirty and probably Wilfredo won’t sleep until maybe three or four in the morning. Nobody comes in from work at five o’clock and goes to bed eh? No different for me. I have to unwind.
My producer she doesn’t like me having sex during Edinburgh Fringe. In her mind she’s a football manager and the fringe is the World Cup. She wants me to save my energy. Of course, I never listen. But I never have sex before a show. Always after. And sometimes during.
London’s taken some of the hype with the Olympics this year – what do you think is the best way for Edinburgh to grab it back?
Having me there will be enough. Believe me when I say it. The Scottish First Minister has already publicly thanked me for being there. Alex Salmond is a big fan. He admires me. I think because we’re very similar in many ways. We’re two straight talking alpha males who love the people. We’re natural leaders.
If you’ve been before, what’s your favourite part of the Edinburgh festivals?
The warmth and hospitality of the Scottish people. Always. We’re [Spanish and Scottish] two cultures like brothers. We like to laugh, we like to drink, we don’t take life too seriously and we like the good life. We’re proud people and we say it how it is.
What would be your biggest piece of advice to any performers coming to Edinburgh for the first time?
Love your audience and they’ll love you right back. It’s not rocket science.
Whoever else are you most excited to see in Edinburgh this year?
Loretta Maine. She excites me. Her show is called Bipolar. She’s an old flame of mine and she hasn’t quite got me out of her system yet. Fingernail marks all down the door of my flat. She’s hot, she’s funny, she’s entertaining and she goes like a tram.
What’s been your most memorable festival experience?
Going out on the town getting drunk with Nicholas Parsons. I did his talkshow last year at the Pleasance. Actually my producer used to blow the whistle on Just a Minute and she’s first-aid qualified so it’s not a risk. He’s on fire. He’s okay at three beers but he’s a tiger after the fourth. After the sixth he’s talking tattoos. We didn’t get in until after the sun had risen over Arthur’s Seat. He slept on my sofa and I’ll tell you a secret: he sleeptalks about the industry. But I’d never tell you what secrets he holds. I’m a gentleman, in the good old fashioned sense of the word.
Any favourite Scottish word/phrase?
"Never show your teeth unless you can bite".
What would be your best tip for any punters coming to their first Fringe?
Bring an umbrella, some money, and a smile. The fringe is the best of the best.
And finally, when/where/how can we see your show?
Just the Tonic, at the Tron on Hunter Square. Venue 51. 10.20pm. Fantastic fun. (Ticket information here)