The Cuban Brothers Gilded Balloon

What an absolute hoot this was – great music, comedy, some of the coolest dance moves you’ll ever see and a couple of crazy guys, namely Miguel Mantovani and his sidekick Archerio. The Cuban Brothers have a cult following at the Edinburgh Fringe and their regular fans were out in force but there were also plenty of newbies like me who have been well and truly converted. I hope they don’t mind me saying but they are getting on a wee bit now and the love gods are sporting some love handles but, boy, do they still have the moves. To keep the energy levels up to the max they have added to the mix the new talent of Kengo San, plus a young breakdancer and a beatboxer.

The music is loud and pumping and impossible not to dance to – great James Brown and other funk classics get the Cuban Brothers treatment. There’s no miming, Miguel actually has a really good voice. Miguel is the front man of the act, wooing the female members of the audience (or chicas as he calls us) with his particular brand of Latin charm and handling those potentially awkward drunken youths with some great banter and subtle put downs. On the other hand, Archerio is a man of few words but he makes up for it with his winning smile and breakdancing skills. The gold lame skintight lycra bodysuit also helps.

This is totally non-pc comedy – sexist and gloriously rude, but it is impossible to take offence and we forgive him anything. Time flies along as song follows song, the costumes get wilder and the action gets faster and furiouser. By the end, we are all clamouring for more and that is what we get – Manuel, by this time stripped to a fetching thong, and his gang give us a great send off. What a night. The Brothers fame has spread far and wide and they play Festivals and gigs all over the UK and Ibiza. It is easy to see why they are so popular – they really know how to get the party started.

Irene Brownlee