The Thinking Drinkers: Pub Crawl

The boozer. The local. The rubber. Call it what you like, the public house has been a staple of communities across the UK and beyond for quite literally thousands of years. Could you imagine a world without them? It’s a prospect we may be facing in our lifetime, but not if ‘Thinking Drinkers’ Ben and Tom have anything to do with it.

Entertaining, surprisingly factual and laugh-out-loud funny.

This pub crawl is more than your average stag do: travelling through space and time to examine key points in the history of our complex relationship with ye olde alcohol, the motto of the evening is “Drink Less: Drink Better”. Our hosts for the night are award-winning drinks writers Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham, a sharp-dressed duo who aren’t afraid to balance facts and figures with abject silliness. Needless to say, the smart suits don’t last for long once the time travelling begins...

With mouth-watering pedigrees in the industry, it comes as no surprise that both McFarland and Sandham are totally at ease unpicking the flavours of each tipple as we progress through our improvised history lesson. As we move from Ancient Greece to the cricket pitches of Australia via the saloons of the Wild West, the plethora of trivia gleaned along the way will leave you torn between making notes and taking sips (trust me, I had to do both, it’s not easy).

This is so much more than a tasting session. No theatrical expense is spared as classic cocktails and pub traditions are compared to and referenced with Hollywood movies, pop sensations, traditional wrestling techniques and more. Elevating the show above a mere booze cruise, the almost pantomime energy of these comic skits bring a relentless pace to the evening which means that the hour soon flies by. Sandham and McFarland have a great chemistry together onstage, which helps them to sail across any bumps in the script with an effortless sense of fun. Very rarely is there the feeling of a script at all, more of a conversation between two connoisseurs and their audience.

Pubs have always been synonymous with conviviality. They are a place to socialise, commiserate, celebrate or just escape from the ‘real world’. The Thinking Drinkers: Pub Crawl provides a gentle reminder that we may be taking these social hubs for granted, alongside a not-so-gentle hint that our beloved smart tech may be at least partially to blame for their demise.

Tonight was only the opening night, but I can tell you now, this will be a five-star show. It’s slick, entertaining, surprisingly factual and laugh-out-loud funny. Add five (yes, five) free drinks into the mix and you really cannot go wrong.

Reviews by Kay Tee

theSpace on the Mile

10:31, MCR

★★★
Bedlam Theatre

Standard:Elite

★★★★
Gilded Balloon Teviot

Ray Bradshaw: Deafinitely Baby

★★★★
PBH's Free Fringe @ Bar Bados Complex

Cauliflower

★★★★
Assembly George Square

beep boop

★★★
Summerhall

All of Me

★★★★

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

Location

The Blurb

The Thinking Drinkers return with a brand new, hilarious, intoxicating bar-hop through history. Enjoy five free drinks as the award-winning experts take you from the symposiums of Ancient Greece to the classic British boozer via Wild West saloons, Victorian gin palaces and the secret Speakeasy. You’ll learn a lot, you’ll laugh a lot and, don’t forget, you get five free drinks.
 
“Pioneers of alcohol based comedy” - ★★★★ Sunday Times
"A terrific show. the best value for money in town” - ★★★★ The Scotsman
“Hugely funny, genuinely fascinating" - Edinburgh Evening News

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