The Thinking Drinker's Guide to Alcohol

Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham give us The Thinking Drinker’s Guide to Alcohol, an hour-long show packed with spirit-related information, inappropriate banter and, of course, the real stuff, namely the alcohol itself. Their mantra is ‘drink less, but drink better’, and their aim is to show that without the influence of alcohol the world as we know it would not have been the same.

The opening sequence features a rather stern voice informing us of the inherent dangers of alcohol, but that is the last that the audience hears on that matter. Next follows the history of the world, told through the stories of our dear friends - beer, whiskey, bourbon, gin, rum, and absinthe. As the history of each drink is revealed to the audience, trays with shots of said drinks are passed around, leaving the audience not only entertained, but also slightly tipsy. (I believe that to be the whole point as the show is promoted as the perfect start to any night out in Edinburgh.)

The amount of research that the two gentlemen have put into their performance is quite impressive, and you cannot help but be pleased by the fact that such an inherently silly show can be somewhat educational too. McFarland and Sandham are highly entertaining and most of their jokes are just inappropriate enough to leave the audience satisfied. Particular mention should be made of the many historical references, loosely interpreted by the performers as they manage to make apparently boring facts fun and entertaining.

Although the laughs are many, you cannot however help but feel that the show sometimes is just a bit too silly, a trait that doesn’t always correspond all that well with its historical undertone. Some of these silly inputs, undoubtedly meant to provide lighter comic relief, often disrupt the flow of an otherwise coherent and genuinely funny performance.

Despite this, the two gentlemen in The Thinking Drinker’s Guide to Alcohol do achieve their main goal: to give the good people of Edinburgh an enjoyable start to their evening.

Reviews by Lene Korseberg

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.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

The Blurb

Enjoy six free sublime drinks as the history of the world is distilled into an intoxicating hour of laughter. Ideal aperitif to an Edinburgh evening. 'Brilliant' **** (Skinny). ‘A terrific show' **** (Scotsman).

Most Popular See More

The Lion King

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

My Fair Lady

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets