A mutant form of bingo accidentally invented one drunken
night by a couple of lads in London three years ago comes to Zanzibar in Santa
Monica this weekend.
Rebel Bingo, as it has come to be known, will be held
this Saturday, Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the bar located at 1301 5th Street.
Founder James Hurst said it’s not like the traditional
form of the game.
“It’s kind of like a huge party, with a loud, emotional
live game show in it where we play a mutant form of bingo,” Hurst said. “It’s a
bit like going to see a band, but we play Rebel Bingo instead. It’s also a bit
like a religious cult, but with fewer rules.”
He said the concept was created for one simple reason:
to have fun.
“That’s the idea really,” he said. “That’s why we do it.
It’s an attack of the senses. It’s tense. It makes you feel good. It’s lots of things to lots of people. If you
like any of the following you might like it: laughing, screaming, dancing,
drinking, playing, winning stuff, or feeling part of something you believe in.”
This is the second time Hurst and his team have held
Rebel Bingo in Santa Monica.
The first was at Central Social Aid and Pleasure Club,
but its popularity prompted the move to Zanzibar, which is a bigger venue.
Hurst said he and a couple of friends invented Rebel
Bingo by accident when they were drunk in the basement of a church hall in
London one night.
“It was like a silly little secret club at first, but
then we turned it into a show and invited our friends, then loads of people
started coming,” he said. “Then people started asking us to go to other cities,
so we did. We’re not quite sure how, but it suddenly became a global
revolution. It’s been a mad couple of years.”
He said the show has evolved since its inception.
“We use a lot more lights and glitter cannons these days
and do it in bigger venues,” he said. “We like lights and glitter cannons a
lot. But when we go to new places we usually start small at first. It’s kind of
nice going back to the small ones. It’s all intimate and cute like the old days
in the church hall. This Santa Monica show will be like that.”
When asked what traditional bingo players think of the
game, Hurst joked that most don’t like the concept.
“They think we are desecrating their game,” he said.
“We’re just trying to have fun. They are mean. We should not be afraid. But if
you’re coming it’s probably best not to tell your grandma. She might not
approve and start lecturing you about how you’re ‘going off the rails’ and how
‘that’s an evil cult and they don’t even play real bingo and they will take you
away from us.’”
For more information, visit www.rebelbingo.com.
Copyright © 2011 by Santa Monica Mirror. All rights reserved.