Bongo’s Bingo is hard to explain — is it bingo? is it a nightclub? A bit of both? The answer: all and none. And more importantly, it’s sure as hell one of the best ways you’ve will ever spend an evening.
The U.K. sensation sells out crowds around the British Isles. And now, for the first time, Australia is getting a piece of the action.
And what action it is! Maestro and MC for the evening, Jonny Bongo, took centre stage in the Paddington Town Hall. Arrayed before him were hundreds of eager bingo-goers, seated at long tables and ready to start x’ing their bingo sheets. But first, a dance party!
That’s what makes Bongo’s Bingo so special: it ain’t your grandma’s bingo. Instead, it’s a riotous combination of a nightclub smashing into staid old bingo. You won’t believe your eyes.
Take Slutty Susie and Slutty Sue. Two men, dressed as fairies-slash-ballerinas, help Jonny Bongo with the evening’s fun. Running to check if bingo-goers’ cards really did win; displaying the prizes; and occasionally stripping down to their undies. All in a night’s work.
Prizes for getting bingo started off mild (a bottle of tequila) and worked their way up to the absurdly comical. I’m not sure what I enjoyed more: the danceoff between two partygoers to win a Justin Bieber competition. Or the moment where Slutty Susie held up a vacuum cleaner (yup, one of the prizes) as Slutty Sue genuflected. There were other, more memorable prizes, too, but I’ll not spoil the fun.
Guests kept the party going with spontaneous dance-offs and singalongs. With a crowd that was 95% British and Irish, I felt like I was back in a U.K. nightclub. Especially when Jonny Bongo (himself an Irishman) called the number 33.
‘Turty-tree!’ he’d cry, and all the lights turned green and the Irish people in the room danced along to power ballads straight from Ireland.
It’s something that has to be seen to be believed. Make sure that when Bongo’s Bingo comes your way you jump at the chance to go. I’ll see you there.
Co-founder of The Plus Ones, Theresa will be attending all future Bongo’s Bingo events she can.