The Thinking Drinkers: Around the World in 80 Drinks

The Thinking Drinkers are back at the Fringe and this year they’re serving up a whistle stop tour of the world’s boozy traditions, mixing up a cocktail of historical facts, filthy innuendos and free drinks. It all adds up to an enjoyable hour of raucous entertainment.

A Bollywood re-enactment and over-enthusiastic Riverdance are very funny set-pieces, but during much of the show it’s the blend of jokes and facts that keep things going

Starting with an Indian Pale Ale brewed down in Greenwich, Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham take the audience on a journey through Africa, Asia and the Americas before bringing us back home to Europe, dishing out free tasters as they go. With their on-stage bar acting as a kind of ropey IKEA transformer, changing from a boat to a plane to a hot-air balloon, it’s a fun and interesting ride.

This is in no small part to the hosts of the show: two men with a clear love for the subject they’re talking about and, like the best drinkers, a willingness to cast dignity aside in the name of a laugh. A Bollywood re-enactment and over-enthusiastic Riverdance are very funny set-pieces, but during much of the show it’s the blend of jokes and facts that keep things going.

Many of these jokes are awful. They’re truly the kind of gags that have you cringing well before the inevitably rank punchlines appear; however, they’re pitched perfectly to a rowdy festival audience, eliciting groans and laughs in equal measure. The facts, on the other hand, are uniformly fascinating and there are no shortage of eyebrow-raising ‘ah – so that’s what that means’ moments as the alcohol-soaked origins of many a saying is laid out between the one liners. It all adds up to a lot of fun.

The Thinking Drinkers pack all the ingredients of a great Edinburgh Fringe night out into one hour. The duo may have the motto “drink less but drink better” but with booze, laughs and some really interesting information this is a show that’s well worth binging on.

Reviews by Alec Martin

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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.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
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 £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

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The Blurb

Laughter and learning abound in a new show from award-winning alcohol aficionados The Thinking Drinkers. Enjoy five delicious free drinks as you embark upon a euphoric, elbow-bending exploration, from hooch-laden Hindus to intrepid imbibing Arctic adventurers. As seen on Channel 4. Did we mention the free drinks? 'A terrific show. The best value for money in town' **** (Scotsman). 'Hugely funny and genuinely fascinating... they illuminated, educated and intoxicated the crowd' **** (Edinburgh Evening News). 'Two brilliantly funny guys with a love of liquor' ***** (Argus, Brighton).

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