The Thinking Drinkers Pub Quiz

Before the Thinking Drinkers even begins, the audience experiences a feeling which is very rare at Edinburgh Fringe: ‘This show is value for money!’

An utterly perfect way to kick off an evening of revelries.

Provided with a bag containing no fewer than five alcoholic beverages, we settle into our seats as The Drinkers – Ben and Tom – prance onto stage in intriguing costumes before stripping off into a novel routine that could be truly epic in the hands of physical comedy masters. As it is, the two hosts are confident, likeable enough and have a good rapport with each other, though border on generic.

But it’s the format and content of the show which are the real strength here. No pre-existing knowledge is necessary, as The Thinking Drinkers Pub Quiz amounts to a comical cocktail of mini-lectures laced with shots of trivia and a chaser of four questions after each round to test your memory and attention skills.

Everything works well here but minds are never blown. The format, information, jokes, questions and hosts are all solid, though the writing and delivery feel somewhat short of its potential. There’s also some awkward crowd control at times, with Ben occasionally breaking the flow and interrupting Tom to hush members of the audience who were being significantly less disruptive than him. There must be better ways to fit that in more seamlessly.

The two tour this show and present their work in a variety of formats and platforms, and it’s no surprise that they have a keen following. The show translates well to the Fringe and they pack a heck of a lot into the hour. There are missed opportunities to further engage the audience, as the minor scoldings and total ignoring of potentially atmosphere-generating heckles may keep the momentum but also creates a barrier between the Drinkers and the drinkers, in a format where removal of barriers is paramount.

The Thinking Drinkers provide really high quality samples of drinks so don’t be put off by the promise of free booze. If you like trivia and alcohol and fancy trying out that rare Edinburgh show that offers something genuinely unique, then this is an utterly perfect way to kick off an evening of revelries.

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Reviews by Victor Black

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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.
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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 £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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The Blurb

Fancy five free drinks? Two of the world's leading alcohol experts return with a hilarious quiz show that gets the rounds in – in more ways than one. With a pen and question sheet in one hand and several world-class drinks in the other, join them on a uniquely absurd, fact-filled journey through time. It's the perfect aperitif to a Fringe night out! 'Pioneers of alcohol-based comedy' (Sunday Times). 'A terrific show. In these austere times, the best value for money in town' **** (Scotsman).

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