Award-winning drinks writers and comedy performers Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham return to Edinburgh with their latest libation, The Thinking Drinkers: Heroes of Hooch, in Underbelly, Cowbarn.
A lively, fun night out
Five offerings are made as the onstage story races through epic events and outstanding people associated with alcohol. There’s something for everyone and once the opening beer has been distributed the quality of the drinks is impressive: an exceptional and unusual gin; a fine single malt whisky; a renowned rum and a superb after-dinner soother from France. They are true to the Thinking Drinkers’ famous catchphrase: ‘Drink Less, Drink Better’. Everyone receives a programme with notes on the drinks and where they can be purchased.
Each refreshment is accompanied by its own scene complete with an array of costumes; some revealing, some out of this world, others simply frivolous and finally a quite smart outfit. They all fit perfectly, not necessarily on their bodies, but with the tales they tell about the astronomers, musicians, magicians, conquerors, can-can dancers, pirates, painters, politicians, thinkers, theorists, scientists, sportsmen, visionaries and many more who seem to have indulged in one form of hooch or another to progress their endeavours. All this comes fully illustrated with a panoply of projections of the famous and the phallic, the academic and aesthetic.
There’s also humour, some of which had us laughing out loud. But they cater for all tastes and the amusing comes in many forms. There are intellectual jokes that have a built-in time delay, while the audience works it out and by which time they have missed the next one, groaning jokes that are unbelievably corny and slightly above them the oo jokes. There are even some that fall flat, but no one really cares because the next drink is coming round.
It’s a lively, fun night out probably best enjoyed with a few friends and few a drinks before you arrive just to get in the mood.