Thinking Drinkers' Guide to the Legends of Liquor

Ben and Tom are the Thinking Drinkers, a pair of sharply tuxedoed bartenders intending to lead their audience’s through their search for history’s best drinkers. Equally intellectually stimulating and utterly puerile with the odd drink thrown in for good measure (pun intended), the Thinking Drinkers’ Guide to the Legends of Liquor is an automatic crowd-pleaser which doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Overall, this cabaret-style show is very entertaining – making the most of Ben and Tom’s incredibly likeable nature and in-depth knowledge of the history of liquor.

Overall, this cabaret-style show is very entertaining – making the most of Ben and Tom’s incredibly likeable nature and in-depth knowledge of the history of liquor. At times a cerebral history lecture and at others a silly sketch show of hackneyed jokes, there is certainly something for everyone. The pair bound between fascinating facts and groanworthy gags with ease and above all, show an unwavering love and respect for alcohol.

Including the line “several free deluxe drinks” in your advertising material is always sure to go down well in Yorkshire. However, the Thinking Drinkers’ show is much, much more than an open bar but you’d be quite hard-pushed to convince some of the audience of that. The Thinking Drinkers’ strapline is to help their audience “drink less, drink better” but unfortunately it was a case of closing the stable door after the horse had bolted. At their 8:30pm timeslot, many of the audience had clearly been doing some last-minute “rehearsals” before the performance. This led to a restless crowd often engaging in their own conversations and regular heckles throughout the performance. The Thinking Drinkers cannot be criticised for the audience’s behaviour but they did seem bafflingly underprepared to deal with the more enthusiastic spectators. Unfortunately, this stalled the performance and often railroaded the proceedings showing the bare bones of the show and highlighting the Drinkers’ inability to improvise and adapt.

This show’s success was, in part, dictated by its audience. Ben and Tom’s impatience with the louder spectators became evident and started to tarnish what clearly is an otherwise highly enjoyable evening (although it would have taken the patience of a saint to forge on regardless). Nonetheless, their seventy minutes of education, skits and drinks is a very worthwhile experience and one that should be enjoyed responsibly. 

Reviews by Stephanie Bartlett

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Performances

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The Blurb

Drink Less. Drink Better

Alcohol: One minute a soul mate, the next a psychopath; it can be both creative muse and pesky mischief-maker. Slide onto the bar stool of discovery and enjoy several free deluxe drinks as the Thinking Drinkers embark on an intoxicating journey through the liquid lives of history's most extraordinary elbow-benders including Dorothy Parker, James Bond and Jesus Christ.

This is the this brand new show from award-winning drinks experts whose 'Guide to Alcohol' has sold-out at the Fringe and at London’s Soho Theatre for four years running.

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