If we’re all being honest with ourselves, bingo has historically been a boring game that was limited in terms of players to those that might go and get a purple rinse. It is not the sort of thing that appeals to many young people, unless they’re taking part in it in an ironic way for a laugh with their mates. At least, that’s how things used to be. In recent times, there has been a rise in the number of young people playing bingo thanks to the likes of Blingo, which has been designed to appeal to those of a younger persuasion by mixing it with, of all things, hip hop.
‘Bingo gets a remix’ is the tagline that the company uses, which just about sums up what you should expect from your Blingo experience. Yes, you’ll play some bingo, but you’ll also do so whilst listening to a soundtrack that is ‘all killer and no filler’. If we tell you that the night is hosted by Grandma Flash and DJ Harry Spelvin, her 87-year-old lover, it will give you some sense of what to expect from your evening. This is as much comedy show as bingo night, so you should be primed for laughs just as much as you should get your dabber ready to mark your numbers.
The Theme Explained
The entire night is driven along thanks to a soundtrack of hip hop and RnB tracks, so that’s the first thing that you’ll need to bear in mind before you head along to the evening. If that isn’t the sort of music that you like then this isn’t going to be the night for you. It is a clever mixture of music and comedy, with neither Grandma Flash nor DJ Harry Spelvin being particularly convincing as old age pensioners. Get past the fact that they’re clearly young people in costumes, though, and the theme is one that actually makes a degree of sense when you think about it.
Bingo is traditionally a game for older people, so having ‘old aged pensioners’ as hosts, even if they’re only pretending to be so, means that it keeps something of a link to the game’s traditions. It is all about fun and good music, though, rather than a session of focussed bingo play, so don’t be surprised if you get called out for taking it all a little bit too seriously. The shows are hugely popular for a reason, having a stint in Las Vegas as well as being performed all around the United Kingdom, with the London shows selling out entirely on a consistent basis.
It Isn’t Conventional Bingo
You probably won’t be all that surprised to learn that this isn’t your conventional game of bingo. Blingo Bingo offers brilliant prizes that the audience can win during the evening. The hosts actively engage with the people there to play, ensuring that it is something of a mix of between passive entertainment for those that don’t want to join in and excellent audience participation for those that do. You can enjoy some brilliant hip hop and RnB as you arrive at the venue, to say nothing of the fact that there is often an after-show set from the DJ in some of the venues.
The Blingo Bingo itself is basically a mix of bingo, comedy and game show, usually promising as many as four games that offer unique prizes and a bonus round. The key thing to remember is that this is not going to be a boring session of bingo like your nan used to play; this is going to get people up on their feet dancing and singing. It is as much one big party as it is a game of bingo, so call out ‘House’ when you haven’t actually got the numbers at your peril. It is high-octane and those that will enjoy it the most are the ones that leave any and all inhibitions at the door.
Loud & Brash Are the Keywords
Grandma Flash is a drag character, whilst DJ Harry Spelvin is covered in gold jewellery that belies the flat cap. There is also a ‘bingo babe’ that helps them with proceedings and allows for some witty one-liners. All told, though, ‘loud and brash’ are the words that you would most most associate with the experience, thanks to the fact that the hosts work hard to whip the audience up into a frenzy of dibbing and dabbing. The tunes keep on spinning throughout the night, meaning that it’s more than just about listening out to see if your numbers are called by the bingo caller.
In terms of how it can be experienced, you might find yourself at a corporate event hosted by the Blingo Bingo crew, or you could go to one of their pre-organised nights. Whichever way you get to experience things, expect it to be tight and crowed in the space as that all adds to the fun. The prizes are often crazy and comedic, with the music taking you on a nostalgic sprint through the hip hop and RnB of the 90s and 2000s. If you’re of an extrovert nature then you can get involved with lip-sync battles and dance offs, so don’t be shy and get involved.