Reviewed by Rachael Sulaiman.
The Thinking Drinkers take you through a true sensory experience: eye-popping costume changes, eye-rolling dad puns, and deliciously fancy alcohol.
Our performers greet the audience in none other than a shiny silvery spandex superhero outfit, setting the tone for the show — the men are here and they’re here to make the audience laugh. The audience from this point are fully allowed to laugh at these ridiculous men in spandex. Additionally, the physical act of sharing drinks round and passing them from audience member to audience member create a warm and friendly atmosphere in the room – it was easy to start a conversation with your neighbour. The audience was completely at ease which is no small feat at a Fringe show.
The pair embodied your loveable drunk uncles at a family party; of course good fun and entertaining, but also explaining the history of their drinks. Although one actor seemed to be getting influenced by the booze he was drinking, stuttering at times and forgetting lines, the pair had brilliant stage presence. The pair were physically hilarious (one particularly entertaining segment involved dressing up as Can-Can dancers), however they fell slightly short on the non-physical jokes, falling back on puns and cheesy one-liners which didn’t land particularly well with the audience. The toast to Ching Shih was simply inappropriate, too.
Scientists and drinkers alike will enjoy the show. By combining both free (!) drinks including beer, whiskey, rum, gin and Grand Mariner (!!) with interesting tid-bits and fun facts both the taste buds and brain were satisfied. A worry that the drink might be gimmicky was lost when the top-shelf alcohol was brought out.
Although tasty and a sight to behold, the information was a little lost through the haze of booze – I would have loved if on the flyer, in addition to information about the drinks, the scientist discussed was also noted. Even if the precursor to the section with female scientists was cliché and unnecessary, the facts were always interesting. The performers had a good balance of being educational without being snobby (far from the usual whiskey-drinking mansplainer).
If you fancy a fun pre-drink at 8:20, this show is perfect for getting you tipsy for the night. I left in a brilliant mood (however more likely due to the booze-buzz than the jokes) and full of the knowledge: drink less and better!
The Thinking Drinkers: Heroes of Hooch runs at Underbelly Cowbarn at 20:20 until 25th August.