Bingo is having a bit of a moment. While Gala Bingo in Tooting is the Mecca – no brand name pun intended – of all bingo halls in London, younger, fresher faces are putting their own contemporary oh-so-Shoreditch spin on the glorious game.
Take the Social Bingo Academy in Camden, which will be flinging its doors open on Saturday 27 January. Set in a real-life bingo hall, The Social Bingo Academy will teach budding bingo-ists the best way to dab numbers, traditional and new-age bingo talk (legs 11, for example, may not resonate quite so well as it used to) high speed bingo, cashlines and that all-important intuition.
On the same day, The Clapham North pub is hosting a Boozy Bingo Brunch with an afternoon of playful games, prizes, dancing and cheeky competition. The Brunch & Bingo is £12.50, and the perfect solution for Dry January-ers reaching the end of their tether (although, be warned, there’s also a bottomless Prosecco option for an extra £15 per person!). Pre-booking is required.
You’ll also find that Drink, Shop, Do in King’s Cross, a kind of cafe-cum-pub-cum-playland, is more than partial to the odd game of bingo. Their regular Indeedy Musical Bingo nights swap numbers for songs, crossing songs off your bingo card as you hear them. Prizes range from sandwich toasters to inflatable bananas and champagne. Their next event is on 15 February 2018 (tickets £15 in adv, £18 on the door, from 7.30pm).
Musical Bingo takes a similar approach, touring their quirky blend of bingo and music around venues like Concrete Space in Shoreditch and Pop Brixton. Here, each round takes on a different theme of song choices, which could be based on either a decade or genre, and there are a few twists along the way, like multi-choice mystery boxes and the chance to gamble your winnings on the Killer Question.
But bingo in it’s purest form can be an intimidating business, with blue rinses and big bingo halls scaring off would-be bingo aficionados
The Royal Vauxhall Tavern also hosts an alternative bingo night. Every Monday night The Big Bingo Show sees your host Timberlina, with Hey Baylen, bring you bingo-cabaret-mayhem with their entertainment-themed bingo rounds featuring musical sing-alongs, spontaneous rants ‘n’ banter, songs, make and do, surprise guests and cool prizes. Eyes down at 8.30pm.
Then there’s Bogan Bingo, a comedy game-show hosted by two trailer trash bingo callers with a passion for 80s and 90s anthems. It takes place every Thursday at The Slug & Lettuce in Fulham, as well as the odd pop-up special edition around town (look out for the Bogan Bingo & Pure Anthems collaboration at Infernos in Clapham on Friday 2 March and 6 April 2018).
But bingo in it’s purest form can be an intimidating business, with blue rinses and big bingo halls scaring off would-be bingo aficionados. The Social Bingo Academy, founded by one of the team behind Rebel Bingo, seeks to change this. Offering a masterclass of bingo skills with added bonus of winning prizes that your nan could only dream of, not to mention the Pop Dogs on hand to keep the crowds sated with their bang(ers) on-trend hot dogs.
The Social Bingo Academy launches 27th January at 180 Arlington Road, Camden Town NW1 7HL. The first 50 tickets are £5, Early Bird tickets £6, general £15 (over 18s only). See bingo-academy.com