Gyles Brandreth: Looking For Happiness

Gyles Brandreth

Bound and Gagged Comedy

Pleasance Courtyard

From 31 July 2013 to 26 August 2013

Rating: *****

Review by Robin Strapp

Gyles Brandreth is a sheer joy to watch. From his very first appearance dressed as a jester, his latest show Gyles Brandreth: Looking for Happiness is an absolute delight.

He has an instant empathy with his audience and promises to share the seven secrets of happiness and, “no collection bucket at the end of the performance.”

There are oodles of audience participation and when he asks them what makes them happy the answers come fast and furious. He challenges them with the question, “Does sex make you happy?” but his quick response is “no perhaps just a good night’s sleep.”

He details some of the sex life of Frank Sinatra in Las Vegas as well as his own father who apparently made love to the church bells on a Sunday but, “I think it was the chimes of the ice cream van that killed him.”

The humour is wry and well observed and his stories about his life as a Member of Parliament and his encounters with Margaret Thatcher, Frankie Howerd and Elton John are captivating.

There is a moving story about the letter he wrote to his friend Simon Cadell after his death and his meeting with professor Anthony Clare.

We also discover that statistically happy people live seven to ten years longer and a host of wonderful anecdotes all delivered with perfect timing.

And who else could get the whole audience standing up doing the hokey cokey. This was simply brilliant and the audience left having found an hour of pure happiness. Not to be missed.