Bingo! – Assembly Hall

There are those who might think that every bingo game is a hostage situation – punters trapped in their seats, pen in hand, until the last of the magic numbers are called.

“Bingo” the musical has upped this tension to a surreal and ludicrous situation; a stand-off between double-crossing mother and axe-wielding daughter which is vicious and hilarious in equal measure.

Scotland’s acting stalwarts are here, in this co-production between Grid Iron and Stellar Quines. There’s Jane McCarry as Betty the bingo caller. Barbara Rafferty wanders in clutching her Henry hoover. Darren Brownlie struts his stuff having swallowed the boys’ book of camping. It’s all over the top and down the sides.

Louise McCarthy as Daniella the swivel-eyed axe-wielding embezzler goes into full psychopath mode against her surprisingly stoic cheating mother Mary. Wendy Seager as Mary is almost the voice of reason in this show, despite losing more and more body parts as the siege wears on.

Written by Anita Vettesse and JohnnyMcKnight it’s a fun night out, filled with banter and backchat. The characters are writ large, the ending wanders off into feel good togetherness, and Alan Penman’s musical numbers are big enough and bold enough to set the feet tapping. The programme is in the form of a bingo book with a set of numbers on the back page. They missed a trick not playing this game –

I’d have liked to see the whole audience leaping to their feet simultaneously yelling “House”!

Assembly Hall until March 17th, and on tour thereafter.

Images by Mihaela Bodlovic


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