The Thinking Drinkers' Leicester Square Questionnaire
The Thinking Drinkers love a proper Soho boozer, MeatLiquor W1 for a burger and have first-hand experience of dealing with badgers... we catch up with Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham ahead of the Thinking Drinkers Pub Quiz on 9 Feb!
What’s your most memorable heckle?
In this Pub Quiz Show in Leeds last year, just as our amazing finale hit its peak - we promise the finale is worth staying for. During a costume change one of us (Ben) 'popped out' to provide the audience with some accidental full frontal. A woman in the audience very audibly shouted 'urgh' at the sight of his bits. Not so much a heckle, more of a reasonable reaction.
Where do you go for your pre/post Leicester Square Theatre gig food?
We tend to look for drinks options and there are plenty across the road in Soho. For a quick pint any of the many proper Soho boozers like the Dog & Duck, or may be the Golden Lion if there's any football on. Bar Swift for a fancy cocktail - and Nick Strangeway is now drinks director at the Groucho so the martinis there are wicked. We'll try and get up to MEATliquor W1 for a burger and a cocktail and then we'll ask owner Scott Collins for any other new food recommendations, he's the gourmet oracle.
What’s one word to describe the state of the UK?
Who's the best upcoming performer in the country that we haven't heard of?
Hale & Pace? Sorry, our fingers aren't on the pulse, we've spent too much time touring over the last two years...
Who would you describe as your arch-nemesis?
You don't get such vibes in theatre, we all love each other. Although not as much as we love ourselves.
When was the time you bombed the most onstage?
Our first gig, The Rocket, Acton. We were kindly offered 30 mins by the lovely and very sadly no longer with us Sunna Jarman who ran the comedy night there. Unfortunately for Sunna, and indeed us, we weren't ready. We had our scripts with us, because we hadn't learned our lines, but we managed to lose them before we walked on and froze at the mics. People didn't even bother to heckle, they simply walked out.
What’s been your strangest fan encounter?
Ben recently sold our tiki bar from our show to a fan, the transaction happened in a service station off the M4.
Where’s your favourite place to tour?
After the Leicester Square Theatre you mean. Bristol is always a great night, the Hen & Chicken is a brilliant comedy club, consistently up-for-it audiences, and the food and drink scene in Bristol is pretty handy. Post-show Newcastle can be dangerous fun. This year we've been invited to Altitude, a comedy festival in the Alps - this gig comes with a ski pass so it might be a new winner.
How do you like to relax after a gig?
It depends where we are. Sometimes we can't stay, so we relax over a really long drive back in the dark, listening to talkSPORT while shovelling BBQ Beef Hula Hoops and Minstrels into our mouths. If we're staying over, we like to get back to our Premier Inn and shove BBQ Hula Hoops and Minstrels into our mouths while lying in bed watching some of the great TV the channels keep commissioning, like Naked Attraction. If we're lucky we'll find a bar for a martini.
What’s the one thing you want the audience to take away from your show?
Our motto: Drink Less, Drink Better. This year we're at Leicester Square Theatre just after dry January, and as Time Out once said, our show is: "the best way to fall off the wagon", not least because you get five lovely and luxury drinks as part of the experience. We want the audience to go away ready to buy quality drinks and enjoy them properly, and hopefully do that all year, so when it comes to January 2024 they don't feel compelled to give up again - because abstaining in January is really sh1t.
Would you rather have fingers as long as your legs or legs as long as your fingers?
This is a silly question.
Who would win in a fight: Badger or Baboon?
But this is a serious question, well done. Not least because we have some first-hand experience of dealing with badgers, as you can see from this video, in which we observe the very sedate and slightly boring behaviour of badgers while drinking Badger Beer. Meanwhile, if you saw In the Shadow of Kilimanjaro when you were a kid, which is apparently 'based on a true story', well, you'll understand that baboons are pretty good at fighting.
The Thinking Drinkers Pub Quiz comes to Leicester Square Theatre on 9 February.