Review: Bongo’s Bingo
When you think of bingo you might imagine a quiet room of tame OAPs, but Bongo’s Bingo turns the old-fashioned pastime on its head with dance intervals, ridiculous prizes and plenty of bevs.
Upon entering the O2 academy, we were all given a bingo book and pen for the night before heading to the bar. A range of reasonably priced drinks were available along with some appropriately named cocktails, Two Fat Ladies, Tickety-Boo and Sixty-Nine. Not long after we settled down in our seats in the midst of it all, and our host for the evening took the stage along with his two not-so-glamorous assistants (two scantily clad men) to get the crowd going and encourage dancing on the benches, which some Bongo’s Bingo veterans were doing already. We were also reminded to do so at our own risk, which is just as well as two benches broke within the first 30 minutes..
The rules are pretty straight forward: the first to win a horizontal line shouts ‘BINGO’, and then it’s the first to win two lines and, finally, a full house. But beware, shout ‘BINGO’ by accident and you will get pointed out and crowned a dickhead, complete with the gesture. If two people shout ‘BINGO’ at the same time, a dance-off decides the winner. Let the games begin.
Prizes started off relatively mediocre: a minion costume, a cardboard cut-out of ‘The Rock’ and a box of coco pops which was followed by an impromptu sing-a-long to O.T. Genasis’ hit ‘CoCo’. In fact, many well-executed classics made an appearance that night such as Steps’ ‘5,6,7,8’, ‘Dancing Queen’, ‘Mambo No. 5’, as well as anthems like High School Musical’s ‘Breaking Free’ and what’s a Sheffield knees-up without some Arctic Monkeys?
There were seven rounds of Bingo altogether and each one brought bigger and better prizes, from bottles of booze to Topshop vouchers and generous cash prizes which soared as high as £500. Banger after banger was played during the intervals between every two games which allowed us enough time to get another round of drinks in; this would explain me struggling to keep up with the numbers as the night went on. This intensified when the group next to us left early to catch a train which meant they gave us their booklets to look after, “we’re bound to win something now!” I said to my fellow bingo buddies. I was wrong. But that’s the great thing about Bongo’s Bingo: even if you don’t win a thing, it’s still an ace night out anyway.
Bongo’s Bingo are travelling far and wide to bring the magic and mayhem to everyone, so head here to see if they’re anywhere near you soon!