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★★★★★ - Gyles Brandreth Can't Stop Talking! Review - By John Murray

Updated: Aug 20, 2023


For Gyles Brandreth's new show, Can't Stop Talking, Gyles lives and breathes this with an hour of stories and celebrity anecdotes that makes you feel like you are sitting down for a cup of tea with him. Like in BBC Radio 4's Just A Minute, he enriched us with witty storytelling with little hesitation, repetition, or deviation. Gyles's achievements in the art of talking even managed him a Guinness World Record for non-stop after-dinner speaking, which went on for over twelve and a half hours!


This raconteur and wordsmith have been on TV for decades, gracing the telly on This Morning, QI, Would I Lie To You, Pointless, Sunday Brunch, and with increasing regularity – Celebrity Gogglebox. He has shared his sofa with many ladies like Dame Sheila Hancock & Dame Joanna Lumley. In good, esteemed company then? Well, Mr Brandreth does let us know this amongst his many name-dropping moments, including our late Queen Elizabeth The Second whom he shared a Royal Box at the Royal Variety Performance.


This run of shows for Assembly has sold out and is in the 500-seater George Aikman Theatre in George Square Gardens, while his ‘other’ Fringe appearance this year with another Dame, Dame Judi Dench was in week one at the even bigger Edinburgh Playhouse. The demographic for Edinburgh fits Gyles well, and stories come thick and fast about his childhood, his affinity to celebrity, his time as a Member of Parliament and his many appearances on television as his host of woolly jumpers.


There is some audience participation, some untold stories and a guest from the front who reads from a menu of topics. He tells us of his injury from a year ago when he fell in Anstruther, Fife while walking to one of the seaside town's many eateries. Losing a tooth and breaking his arm in the fall, he gave high praise to Fife NHS as an ambulance arrived within five minutes, taking him to Kirkcaldy for some treatment at Victoria Hospital.


An hour with Gyles flies by, and his well-constructed performance deserves the ovation received.


Gyles Brandreth Can't Stop Talking! performs at Assembly George Square, Gordon Aikman Theatre until the 27th of August. Book Tickets here: https://assemblyfestival.com/whats-on/gyles-brandreth-cant-stop-talking

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