I feel that the idea of bingo to many has been misconstrued as an activity purely for older people. Yet, since moving to London I have realised that this really isn’t the case any more. You may have already seen my post on Bogan Bingo which I attend regularly, BUT It was recently brought to my attention that there are some strong bingo contenders on the scene. I will make it my mission to attend as many of these as I can and report back so we can find out which is the best bingo night in the Capital. And so with that in mind I waddled along to the press and preview night of The Bingo Academy’s latest venture, which takes form in the shape of a pop-up at The Vaults underneath Waterloo Station, which is on until 2nd June!
The Bingo Academy is brought to you from one of the founders of Rebel Bingo which is described on their website as: ‘A very intense and emotional style of bingo that we invented by accident in the basement of a church one night. We’re not quite sure how but it got totally out of control and became a global revolution. We followed it wherever it led us and some pretty weird stuff happened but it’s been fun.’. And so following the success of their previous bingo nights, The Bingo Academy was formed in order to help young people to develop the skills needed to compete in the fast-paced world of modern bingo.
Very similar to a training camp, The Bingo Academy starts from the very bottom for those who may not even know what bingo is or how to play (where have these people been for their entire lives?). So whatever your skill level, they’ll be able to accommodate you and train you up to their standards in no time!
Now, If you’re attending a training camp as full on as this one, you’re going to need it to be in a good setting. This is just as well that The Bingo Academy has it’s very own new high-tech, purpose-built training facility to help you you to become the best bingo player that you possibly can be. It’s a long room with rows of tables and benches lining its entirety which means you may get to know some people you didn’t arrive with depending on how busy the session is and how much space you have. At one end there is a bar which serves all you could possibly need to get into the true bingo spirit (including some quite strong cider which definitely hindered my bingo playing somewhat). But the main attraction to this facility is the overhead platform on which the bingo-caller stands. with diagonal neon lights on the front – you can hardly miss it! To complete the camp you need screens, LOTS OF SCREENS. These were used to reiterate the important instructions that the tutor was given and to show how to mark the bingo sheet properly, and also to display some very strange videos and countdowns to the next round of bingo during the break so you never miss a game (handy).
The numbers were called in an outrageous way by Rebel Bingo’s Luki Luck. If you’re not into naughty language then this definitely isn’t the evening for you. But if you love a potty mouth then this will be right up your street.
I found this whole night hilarious. I sort of felt as though I was in a cult – but a fun cult. We were being trained so vigorously by a true master and I was trying to take it so seriously in order to win some prizes and to feel the glory of being a winner after learning the tricks of the bingo trade. We were taken through dabbing practice, then onto different types of games including the standard bingo, the American style of bingo and a super speed round. I failed at this miserably and must’ve missed about half of the numbers. Speed has never really been my strong point…
So if you’re looking for a fun way to spend the evening in London, I’d definitely would recommend the Bingo Academy. You may find yourself as one of the top bingo players in the country after your extensive training regime. Plus, if you get lucky you may just return with a little more money in your pocket than you started with. Or even a money gun. I need one of these!