As someone who has never been to a bingo hall in my life and always swore that you’d never catch me with a dabber in my hand, I was initially hesitant to attend Press Night for Bingo Star at Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre.
However, as I’m a big fan of the theatre’s unique brand of musical comedy, I was intrigued and decided to give it a chance.
Bingo Star, the first full-length play by playwright Iain Christie, was lively, energetic, and raucously funny. Christie, who has spent almost twenty years as the theatre’s publicity officer, certainly knew how to give the typical Royal Court audience exactly what they wanted. Packed with lots of slapstick, the play had me laughing out loud from start to finish.
And the stream of fabulous on-stage performances of 80’s hits kept my foot tapping throughout, thanks to the awesome ivory-tickling skills of Jonathan Markwood, in the guise of the bingo hall’s Keyboard Keith.
The cast, led by Alan Stocks as Arthur, the owner of the bingo hall, and Paul Duckworth as the two-faced Tony, was outstanding. Keddy Sutton as the hilarious Leslie and Helen Carter as the sassy songstress Debbie, both seasoned performers at the Royal Court, were brilliant, and Paige Fenlon (left), making her debut at the theatre as the sexy Bella, delivered an excellent performance, both as a singer and actor.
A rather novel aspect of the night was the fact that each member of the audience in the stalls area was given a bingo ticket and a dabber. Three real games of bingo were cleverly scripted into the show, with lucky winners walking away with fifty quid each.
Overall, “Bingo Star” is a raucously funny musical comedy that will leave you wanting more. Although I’m not planning on becoming a regular Bingo player anytime soon, I would definitely go and see this show again.
“Bingo Star” runs until April 8th, so be sure to grab your dabber and head down to the Royal Court Theatre for a night of laughs and great music.
Online tickets available from The Box Office