“Eight and zero, we don’t need no Café Nero!” It’s bingo, but not as we know it. On Friday night, Florence Park Community Centre played host to the incomparable Tina T’urner Tea Lady’s Steamy Bingo, and what a night it was.
For those who’ve not encountered Tina T’urner (pronounced Tea-Urn-er), she’s cut from a different kind of tribute cloth. She has the fright wig, prized legs and red, red lips of her namesake, but sadly never found the stardom her beloved 80s icon did. So, she became the next best thing: a tea lady.
As she hobbled onstage on Friday, mumbling the words she could still remember of ‘Private Dancer’, Tina announced that she needed a little help getting things started. Sporting her green tabard and support socks she, went into the audience in search of a fella to “touch my leeeg”. It was quite a proposition – but it did the trick. We were ready to play.
In an interview in the run-up to the show, Tina's creator, Tracey Collins, declared that bingo “brings people together. They put their mobile phones away and get in the moment, motivated to win.” Since Florence Park Community Centre was pretty much built on bingo, last night’s packed hall was the perfect place to put this to the test. And did we pass with flying colours! Eyes down: the room buzzed with a tense and competitive murmur. “Number six, Jagger’s lips!” We were off.
The riotous crowd all had “BINGO” hovering nervously on their lips as the invigorating 80s soundtrack played. Of the amazing prizes, of course the zebra vase went first. Next a mishap with poor Liz (in her fabulous sequin trousers) who thought she had two lines but had missed a number! Eventually the Tunnock's teacakes went too, and it was dabbers at dawn in anticipation of a full house.
I am not ashamed to say, when I realised I had it, I squealed. Dancing my way to the stage, as Tina twirled me round and let off a party popper in my honour. That’s right - the Golden-Pie Easter Egg and bottle of
After another round of comedy-infused bingo, Tina declared it was finally time to serve her aphrodisiac brew: Steve, or “Stevey-Zeus”, was the (un)lucky fella. And as the brew took hold, the tabard came off, the red shoes went on, Steve followed orders to grab Tina’s waist and begin the evening's grand finale: the community centre conga-line. This night was unlike anything else. It was ‘Simply the Best’.