Gyles Brandreth is no stranger to the Edinburgh Fringe, and is one of the few performers who can consistently sell out big venues like the Pleasance One. He is, of course a well-known TV and radio personality, as well as an author, and former MP. His one-man show Gyles Brandreth: Break a Leg appeals very much to the audience it attracts, the people who know him from Radio 4, and are looking for a traditional kind of comedy.
Break a Leg is an hour of easy chat and sparkling wit, Brandreth is undeniably intelligent with an encyclopaedic like knowledge, interacting with an audience member results in nearly ten minutes of unscripted dialogue, where Brandreth regales us with interesting stories about this particular audience members home town.
There are a couple of little songs, but it’s the anecdotes that make the show. Brandreth talks about his numerous friends in the entertainment industry, some are stories about them, while others are tales which have been told to him. They are all very funny and exceptionally interesting.
All of these yarns are related in some way to the theatre, so hearing about Laurence Olivier on the Chichester Festival Theatre stage, or Timothy West’s landlady is entertaining and delightful. Brandreth is entirely at ease on the stage, and makes his audience feel welcome. Gyles Brandreth: Break a Leg is a fantastically funny and fascinating way to spend an hour at the fringe.