Sunday 19th November

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Bongo's Bingo

Bongo’s Bingo at Clapham’s The Grand

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A week on Friday, Clapham’s The Grand hosts its latest Bongo’s Bingo extravaganza – a wild night of drinking, dancing, cavorting and … well, bingo, but not as you know it.  

Last month, Samm Abbott headed south of the river to check out the silliness for herself, and reported back for What’s On London on why this event has become so popular in the UK and beyond.

What’s Bongo’s Bingo, you ask?  Well, it isn’t your grandma’s bingo, so don’t head along if you’re hoping for a quiet night floating in a sea of blue rinses and hearing aides.

Bongo's Bingo London - summer dates announcedBongo’s Bingo is bingo on speed, featuring dance-offs, fantastic music, rave interludes, bouts of bingo and some awesome – and some not-so-awesome – prizes.

It started two years ago in Liverpool, aimed at bringing back a healthy dollop of unadulterated fun and escapism to nights out.  From these humble beginnings, it’s spread across the world, even to Ibiza, Spain and Dubai.  And last month, its Australian launch saw two Sydney shows selling out in under half an hour.  So it’s very much a brand on the rise.

Joshua Burke, one of Bongo’s Bingo’s co-founders, explained: “We’re loving our London events and are incredibly happy at Clapham Grand – a really beautiful and intimate venue for our shows.

“This summer’s looking really good: we’re launching in locations around the world and our UK events are going from strength to strength.  We expect these to sell out quickly!”

Burke’s prophecy is likely to be fulfilled because – as I can testify – Bongo’s Bingo’s just so raucous and infectious.  My pals and I danced, drank and played bingo until the early hours, buoyed by the electric atmosphere.

Winning a bottle of Malibu was a highlight, but it was really the hosts that kept the vibes flowing.  Full of energy, they danced around, hyped up guests and kept things as far from geriatric as you could imagine – an example being when they forced British Olympian Perri Shakes-Drayton on stage to compete in a dance-off caught on camera!

You’d better get in quickly before the July and August events sell-out.  It’s the bingo we wish was on every weekend.

Bongo’s Bingo is taking place at Clapham’s The Grand on Friday 14th July and Friday 18th August from 6pm.  For tickets and more information, head to the official website.  You can also follow the brand on Facebook here or on Twitter @bongosbingo88.

Category: Clubs
London

What’s On, London? 16th – 18th June 2017

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

It’s been another tragic week for London with the full consequences of the Grenfell Tower fire still emerging.  One thing’s clear: never again can people be exposed to such danger.  Londoners must do all we can to ensure our politicians act quickly to help those affected and prevent any repeat.  The only silver lining to this awful cloud has been the response: money donated, items provided and fundraising efforts set in motion.  So while again we have no choice but to try to carry on with our lives, making the most of the positive things happening in our city (listed below), we include a special section highlighting the events coming up to raise funds for the victims and their families.

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Category: Clubs
London

What’s On, London? 8th – 11th June 2017

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Last weekend was a tragic one for London.  But we can’t let mindless, hateful morons stop us doing what we do best: making the most of the amazing things this great city has to offer everyone – whatever your tastes and interests.  We carry on.  We must and we will.  With that in mind, the next few days offer plenty of opportunities for Londoners to seek escapism, to laugh and to marvel at the creative contributions people make to our shared culture every day.

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Category: Art
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Preview: The Underbelly Festival Southbank 2017

The Underbelly Festival Southbank 2017 is up and running, with a roll call of stellar entertainers taking to the stage before the distinctive purple dome gets dismantled at the end of September.  

And this year’s festival, presented by Hilton, promises to be better than ever, bringing together two slightly smaller offerings – Udderbelly and London Wonderland – into a summer-long, one-stop shop for comedy, circus and variety shows.  

Whatever your tastes, there seems to be something for everyone.  Plus, with free entry into the complex, there are few better spots to enjoy a beer and decent street food in a festival atmosphere, nestled beneath the London Eye and overlooking the splendour of Westminster.

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Category: Comedy
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Birthday Girls: Sh*t Hot Party Legends review

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Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more enjoyable time at the Fringe than an hour of Birthday Girls’ raucously funny sketches.

From the second you enter the room to find the performers handing out shots, dancing wildly and decorating the audience with glittery makeup, you know that fun’s the aim of the game for the next hour.  Birthday Girls – Rose Johnson, Beattie Edmondson and Camille Ucan – hijack the crowd on their Saturday night out, the basis from which their hilarious sketches spill.  In between, the trio perform amazingly choreographed and suggestive dances – the kind of segues used on TV sketch shows, where they’re surely destined to be.

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Category: Comedy
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Massive Attack at BST Hyde Park, 1st July 2016

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By Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park got off to a superb start on Friday with solid performances from Ghostpoet, TV on the Radio and the ever-combative Patti Smith, before headliners Massive Attack took to the stage.  By then, the rainclouds that had earlier brooded and spat dissipated and Bristol’s finest were handed a perfect evening to deliver a typically understated, dark and restless set that tied in perfectly with the prevailing frustration of the times.    

At first glance, BST’s opening line-up looked too diverse: shoehorning rap, indie, folk-rock and trip-hop into a handful of hours.  In the end, it worked perfectly as a powerful message ran through each act.  And if any of the 65,000 present missed it, it was emblazoned onscreen at the evening’s end: despite all the divisive crap going on, “we are in this together”.  

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Category: Dance
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UnCorked Theatre presents ‘How To Solve A Problem Like Murder’

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By Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

With How To Solve A Problem Like Murder, UnCorked Theatre delivers one of the most intriguing, voyeuristic and memorable evenings in London right now: a captivating mixture of immersive theatre, murder-mystery and burlesque.  

The second you arrive at the venue – Paradise by way of Kensal Green – you become part of a complex and challenging reality, which claims you until the moment the murderer is finally unmasked.  The onus is on you to select your chief suspects and closely watch what they do and how they do it.  Our advice: get tickets while you can and then keep your wits about you.

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Category: Dance
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Stunning line-up announced for ‘Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park’

By Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Last night’s Brit Awards 2016 proved a memorable evening for all involved – with Lorde’s moving David Bowie tribute understandably going viral – but especially for the winners, including London’s own Adele.  And three amazing artists who narrowly missed out on the big prizes can console themselves with being part of perhaps the biggest day in London music later this year: Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park.

BST has announced that its line-up for the opening day on Saturday, 2nd July 2016 will include:

Florence + The Machine – nominated for Best Female Solo Artist and British Album of the Year;

Kendrick Lamar – nominated for Best International Male Solo Artist; and

Jamie XX – nominated for Best Male Solo Artist.

And if that wasn’t enough to get you heading straight for the tickets website, the organisers have confirmed that Blood Orange will also guest that day, with further acts to be announced soon.

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Category: Comedy