Musical Bingo is the most crazy and fun night out we've been on recently - bringing blue rinses, legs eleven and 'eyes down' screaming into the 21st Century! Expect to play bingo with your favourite music, amazing prizes, witty comperes and dancing on tables...
The London Calling team recently tried out London’s best-kept secret – Musical Bingo! We didn’t have a clue what to expect, except it would involve playing bingo with music clips. What actually happened…well, it involved dancing on benches to Zorba the Greek, ticker-tape showers, pickled gherkins given away as grand prizes, city men hula-hooping with helium balloons and an unassuming basement full of hipsters grinning from ear to ear all night! We talked to Jonny Wright, the mastermind behind this brilliant idea.
London Calling: Tell us about how you came up with the genius idea for Musical Bingo and how has the idea evolved over four years? Jonny Wright: I got asked by the bookers of the Lock Tavern Group (The Filthy Dukes DJ's) to come and do something at their tent at Glastonbury. The night I was running back then, 'Bring & Share' wouldn't have worked at a festival, so I had to think up something else. I wanted to keep with the same ethos as B&S; it had to be interactive, fun and about the music. It began as a more chilled out Sunday afternoon thing in various London pubs, but over the years it has evolved to be a more theatrical event with a variety of comediennes/comperes guiding the evening's proceedings. I get bored quite quickly so I'm always throwing new things into the mix; last year we took it to a whole other level - it's kind of like being at some sort of wild cabaret circus now and each night is never the same.
LC: How did you find all the members of the team? How do they all work together? JW: The DJs (Rapture, Stocky & JP) are all mates that I've known a long time - they're just like-minded people (but unlike me they can mix properly - I’m a work in progress!). I've got three comperes; Eleanor Conway, the fierce but friendly one, Luisa Omielan, a comic and a very funny girl, and Lola Hi-Rola, the theatrical darling of the team - they are all very talented performers. The only Musical Bingo condition is that they come with a smile and wearing high heels.
LC: Tell us some crazy things that have happened at some of the evenings? JW: Ha, where to begin... last year's Halloween special resulted in two members licking a rancid dog bone on stage after they were caught 'Shazaming'. Most nights result in something unplanned; stage invasions, table dancing and the odd hula hoop challenge thrown in.
LC: What’s the weirdest prize you’ve ever given away? JW: They generally range from the kitsch to the boozy. Pretty much anything goes; lately I've been dishing out slow cookers and deep fat fryers, which have been going down very well...
LC: Got any tips for anyone wanting to start a business like Musical Bingo as a second job? Tell us a bit about your day job, Bring and Share? JW: If you've got a good idea you've just got to go for it and really give it your all. I'm always looking at ways to refine what I'm doing and constantly assessing the situation. You can't ever get complacent. For me, the most important thing is that people leave my events feeling like they've been truly entertained, rather than how much money I've bagged. This has led onto bigger gigs for us and a bigger following of players that have in turn become loyal regulars.
Bring & Share began in 2003 at The Hawley Arms and The Enterprise in Camden. It's a night where the punters would arrive armed with their fave records for the DJ's to throw into the 'anything goes mix', it was unpretentious, intimate and fun; like being at the best house party ever except none of us had to clean up in the morning. Last year we took it to Isle of Wight and Vintage festivals and now with the aid of Twitter to take requests the night has been reinvented once again. B&S also runs as an agency, booking out the resident DJ's for various parties and events across London.
LC: Finally, what are your hopes and dreams for Musical Bingo in 2012? JW: I plan to build on the success that we've seen with our Concrete residency in 2011, and to host the night from other venues. In fact we're just about to kick off a residency at Mahiki, and our debut night has already sold out, so we're all very excited about that. 2012 will also see the visual impact of our shows being pushed even further, and after recently meeting Sacred Geometry, I've asked them to get on board to make costumes for the team and to dress the stage at our London gigs and festival dates. So we're looking forward to another action packed and successful year for us all.
If you are now very curious, the next Musical Bingo night is 16th February at Concrete and 21st February at Mahiki!
Find out more about Musical Bingo
Find out more about Bring and Share
Sunbathe on the Roundhouse's rooftop beach, get lost in a world of storytelling in the National Theatre's Propstore or fly to 'Beirut' Pan Am style. This summer, Pop Up Bars are surfacing all around town. Here's our Top 5!
It’s easy to put off that morning jog because it’s too cold, too wet, and too much like jogging. But your lungs need that fresh air. Summer has landed, so it’s your chance to explore the capital’s scenic corners, where running tracks are outlined by flower beds instead of chalk. Exercise isn’t always fun, so here are some alternate outdoor sports for you to enjoy.
The best thing about having kids is days out and the best thing about being a kid is days out. You just need to know where to go, or more specifically where you can find/avoid Peppa Pig. Well, here you go...
Broadway superstar, singer-songwriter and part of the cast of Glee, Idina Menzel has so many strings her bow it’s hard to keep up, quite frankly! Fresh from her one off concert 'Idina Menzel and Friends' at the Hackney Empire and set to perform this much loved live show at the Olivier awards this Sunday, London Calling caught up with her to find out what it’s like being the superwoman of musical theatre!