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BRIGHTON FRINGE: Much Ado About Bingo – Brighton Spiegeltent: Bosco

Creators: Boogaloo Stu and Lorraine Bowen

Reviewer: Simon Topping

Bouncing through the glittery stage curtain, looking like a cross between Bruce Forsyth and psychedelic Bertie Bassett, comes Derek Daniels (Boogaloo Stu). Derek and his longtime beleaguered piano playing companion, Ronnie Hazelnut, are here to present a medley of classic 70’s songs and a mix of Shakespeare quotations for us in the audience to tick off our cards when we hear them, for a chance to win prizes, in this unique night of bingo meets supper club.

A good section of the crowd seem to be Brighton cabaret regulars and already on board with the splendid madness, as Daniels goes into a showbiz ramble about his life and marriage, with hidden Shakespeare quotes contained.

As we focus on our bingo cards in the dim light of the Bosco tent, Hazelnut starts up the piano and Daniels goes into his first 70s medley. A well-rehearsed mix of tunes comes at us as we frantically tick off the songs. Quite soon someone in the throng has completed a line and Daniels checks it and presents the winner with a suitably shabby and kitsch prize.

Prizes up for grabs this evening vary between chocolate bars and biscuits to a signed photograph of the Bard himself! At one point in the evening, one section of the tent get rather obsessed with a tin of smash on the prize table, shouting “Smash, smash, smash, smash!”; Daniels will not capitulate, he won’t give out dried potato on a whim.

The night continues in much the same vein, as there are two bingo games to complete. In-between the bingo is a wonderfully bizarre and funny game with a couple from the audience guessing if the lines are from Shakespeare or Shakin’ Steven. There are also segments in the proceedings from 2015 Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist, Lorraine Bowen.

Bowen is a lovable DIY star, with a keyboard. A bit like a female John Shuttleworth, but with fantastic polyester style, Bowen’s dresses amaze and beguile. She leads the gathering in several ditties to great applause, culminating on her BGT hit, The Crumble Song. Like David Walliams in 2015, the gathering love every minute and join in with her music stylings with great gusto.

Much Ado About Bingo provides a great night out for those looking for a singalong and silliness. It’s a party. Boogaloo Stu is a Brighton icon and revels in the madness. The night is an irreverent reworking of bingo, a fab night out for those seeking good cabaret entertainment.

Reviewed on 26 May 2019 | Image: Contributed

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