Interview with Something Rhymes with Purple’s Gyles Brandreth and Susie Dent

Posted on 21 December 2022

In this live exploration of language itself, Gyles Brandreth and Susie Dent take the Something Rhymes with Purple podcast to London’s Fortune Theatre. The hosts discuss it all, from the quirky and humble beginnings of the English language to offering fiery tips on how to expand your vocabulary. Their love for language and its intricacies are infectious, you’ll be eager to join your happy-go-lucky hosts for an evening of linguistic celebration, as they dispel popular language fallacies and delve into the past of proverbs, strange words and phrases. The best part of all? No two shows are alike! It’s no wonder that these legends of lexicon bagged the British Podcast Award for Best Entertainment Podcast! 

Ahead of the festivities here at London Theatre Direct, we spoke with the stars of the show, to see what they’ll be getting up to this winter!

Interview with Gyles Brandreth and Susie Dent 

1. How do you get yourself ready to step on stage? Do you have any pre-show rituals?

Gyles: I eat a Twix to ensure an energy-boosting sugar rush and (seriously) Susie & I stand in the wings thinking how lucky we are that we have such a lovely audience. We call them “the Purple people” and we regard them as real friends – which is why we always spend the interval in the stalls meeting people. (I also get given an interval ice cream – a real perk of the job. I choose vanilla – because Susie has told me the origin of the word …(Look it up!).

Susie: Essentially Gyles has us doing strange vocal exercises to limber up before we go on, whereby we make ridiculous noises. But they do work! Other than that we sit and eat sandwiches just before the matinee while marvelling at the wonderful community that has built up around Something Rhymes with Purple. We consider ourselves very lucky.

2. What do you think is an underappreciated moment or hidden gem in the show?

Gyles: It’s genuinely improvised. Susie really does know all this amazing stuff about words and language. It’s all there in her incredible head.

Susie: I'm not sure about underappreciated but the marvel of every show for me is how bottomless Gyles's reservoir of anecdotes is. There seems to be no one he hasn't met and no theatre whose boards he hasn't trodden. His really has been a remarkable life. I'd also like to give a nod to Kathy Klugston's marvellous Purple Shipping Forecast that kicks off the show.

3. What’s your favourite Christmas song? 

Gyles: ‘Rudolf the Red-Noised Reindeer.’ of course. What else?

Susie: It has to be 'Walking in the Air' from The Snowman.

4. How would you spend a spectacular snow day?

Gyles: Looking out at it from inside the house – while eating Twix bars and singing ‘Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer’. If it was sunny, I might venture out – because I know that the warmth of sunshine on your back on a cold day is called APRICITY and I love that word.

Susie: Retreating into my hibernacle (winter den) and snudging (lying quiet and snug). 

Something Rhymes with Purple tickets are available now! 

The world of words awaits you! 

By Kevin Thomas

From as early as I can recall, writing has always been my passion. Being able to combine this with my love for theatre has been a rewarding and exhilarating experience. I truly believe that there is magic in seeing a story brought to life on stage, and this is what I would like to promote to audiences.