Singalonga Pub Quiz
  • By Ben Dali
  • |
  • 10th Aug 2019
  • |
  • ★★★★★

When I walked in to a packed out Finger’s Piano Bar I was greeted with the site of Mister Meredith affably talking to his punters, handing out paper and pens personally, and establishing a rapport by breaking down the barriers between performer and audience. He very much takes on the role of pub quizmaster first and foremost.

Meredith ekes every ounce of potential from his straightforward concept.

Meredith introduces the show in much the same way as he writes its blurb: “Welcome to Singalonga Pub Quiz. It’s a sing-along pub quiz.” The format, unsurprisingly, involves Meredith playing 20 well known songs on the piano, while encouraging the audience to sing along, and intercutting each track with a quiz question or two. He prompts the audience to join in with him as he sings well selected classics that manage to appeal to all generations and creeds, covering the topics of traditional, musical, post-1960s and Disney.

Now, it’s commonplace for a reviewer to disregard the audience and exclusively assess what happens on stage. But with this format, the entire venue is Mister Meredith’s stage, and it is his responsibility to dictate the quality of the audience, and so this review will break that rule. Today’s audience was a solid five star. From the moment he opens with Do-Re-Mi, the entire room is singing. They erupt in applause when he has seemingly done nothing. But he has. He has created that atmosphere and set the tone for the night. Before the first round is finished, people are spontaneously clapping, swaying with their arms around each other, interacting with strangers, and pointing to the sky at the pinnacle of choruses.

The songs are selected painstakingly to allow for scope and universal singalongability, devoid of crowd-splitters, and the question writing has a range of difficulty and interestingness, embellished with gags and trivia that only a highly experienced and proficient quizmaster could adequately discriminate. His musical repertoire is clearly, vast as he boasts that the songs and questions change every day, giving the show a real repeat viewing appeal.

Meredith is a top quality pianist, and while he hasn’t been blessed with the voice of an angel, he can certainly hold a tune, and it fits his persona perfectly as he joyously belts out each number, sounding like he could easily be ‘one of us’. Don’t expect a prize worth any more than a nice memory, this is PBH’s Free Fringe and entry to this quiz costs less here than it does down your local. By its very nature, the sing-along quiz is not going to appeal to everybody, but if it sounds like it might be up your street then rest assured, Meredith ekes every ounce of potential from his straightforward concept. Want a fun and intellectually stimulating hour? Get your thinking cap on, go armed with a funny team name, prepare to contribute to the electric atmosphere, and sing your little heart out.

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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
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Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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The Blurb

Do you really need to read this blurb? Look at the title! It’s a singalong pub quiz where you can test your knowledge whilst singing your favourite hits. It’s an evening of silliness and songs with random points awarded by your quizmaster, song leader and cabaret maestro, Mister Meredith. So unwind and embrace ‘the sheer pleasure of a room united in song’ (Time Out). On Mister Meredith: ‘One of the greatest cabaret performers of his generation’ ( On Singalonga Pub Quiz at The Poodle Club: 'Would highly recommend' ***** (Jackie O'Shea, Google review)

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