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? 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
WOL Comedy Awards

What’s On London Comedy Awards 2016

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Now the sun has firmly set on this year’s season of comedy festivals, it’s time for What’s On London to announce our 2016 Comedy Award Winners and alert you to where you can catch these acts over the next couple of months.  

The field is stronger than ever before.  Londoners are privileged to have such a talented generation of performers available to entertain them across the city on each and every night of the week, in every conceivable style.  Whether you’re after stand-up, music, sketches, improv or something else entirely, the list of winners below contains something for everyone.

So follow our advice: make this the season of good cheer, book some tickets, get out of the house and keep yourself warm with the roar of laughter.

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Category: Comedy
L-R Noma Dumezweni (Hermione Granger), Jamie Parker (Harry Potter) and Paul Thornley (Ron 
Weasley). Photo by Manuel Harlan
L-R Noma Dumezweni (Hermione Granger), Jamie Parker (Harry Potter) and Paul Thornley (Ron Weasley). Photo by Manuel Harlan

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Stupendous proof that J.K. is still rollin’

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Sold out until December 2017, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has proved a huge success even before the reviews started rolling in – and with very good reason.   A further 250,000 tickets will be released on Thursday 4th August and What’s On London cannot recommend enough snapping them up while you can.  

This superb J.K. Rowling / Jack Thorne / John Tiffany two-part collaboration officially opened on 30th July at The Palace Theatre and Shannon Rawlins was lucky enough to catch the previews on consecutive nights earlier on in the week.  She reports below in a spoiler-free review.

As soon as the play opened, it was full steam ahead.  Packed from the get-go, I forgot I was flying solo at the theatre, completely and utterly immersed in Rowling’s universe.  Initially nervous at the thought of a five-hour play, by the end of Part One I dreaded having to wait a whole day to see the culminating part!

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Category: Theatre
01-tarzan.w529.h352

Him Tarzan, Me Very Impressed – ‘The Legend of Tarzan’ film review

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What’s On London were treated to an early screening of Warner Brothers’ The Legend of Tarzan this week, starring Alexander Skarsgard and Margot Robbie and directed by Harry Potter’s very own David Yates.

As Shannon Rawlins reports, although the film is far from perfect, it’s an enjoyable and immersive ride with a number of strong performances and excellent use of CGI more than making up for certain plot gaps.

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Category: Cinema

Doctor Faustus – Jon Snow sells his soul for fame!

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Game of Thrones star Kit Harington plays the title role in a new version of Doctor Faustus at The Duke of York’s Theatre until June 2016.  The classic play (written by Christopher Marlowe 400 years ago), in which the lead famously sells his soul to the devil, has been given a contemporary twist by the excellent Jamie Lloyd, fresh off the back of his recent success with The Maids and The Homecoming.  

What’s On London’s Shannon Rawlins attended the show’s preview to find out if Harington – who plays Jon Snow in the epic HBO series – could deliver a performance worthy of an opening night’s watch.

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Category: Theatre
Horrorland
Horrorland

Goosebumps Alive! at The Vaults, Waterloo

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By Shannon Rawlins

Most 90s kids are familiar with RL Stine’s Goosebumps collection – a series of books designed to scare the life out of anyone under the age of 14 with an overactive imagination.  With this in mind, I was extremely excited to hear that Waterloo’s The Vaults have created Goosebumps Alive! – an immersive theatre show based on the haunting tales from my childhood.  And even the recent film adaptation starring Jack Black hadn’t put me off, so I went along to the press launch with high hopes.

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Category: Theatre
Diana Vickers is currently starring as Janet in The Rocky Horror Show
Diana Vickers is currently starring as Janet in The Rocky Horror Show

Dammit Janet! – Interview with Diana Vickers

With cult classic The Rocky Horror Show currently on a huge UK tour, Shannon Rawlins of What’s On London caught up with the amazing Diana Vickers (who plays Janet in the musical) to talk about the film, the fans and the fishnets.

Vickers, who first came to the public’s attention as a semi-finalist on The X Factor in 2008, has quickly made the role her own, described in our earlier review here as “a great casting, with strong vocals and the right amount of naivety for Janet”.

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Category: Music