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Free drinks at comedy show all about the highs and lows of booze

PUBLISHED: 19:05 08 November 2019

Left to right, Tom Sandham and Ben McFarland are the comedy duo who give away free drinks and educate boozers on the importance of its history. Picture: STELLA ULLATHORNE

Left to right, Tom Sandham and Ben McFarland are the comedy duo who give away free drinks and educate boozers on the importance of its history. Picture: STELLA ULLATHORNE

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Drinkers will be able to raise a glass to a popular comedy show all about alcohol in Colchester - where the audience will get a free tipple.

Left to right, Tom Sandham and Ben McFarland are the comedy duo who give away free drinks and educate boozers on the importance of it's history. Picture: STELLA ULLATHORNELeft to right, Tom Sandham and Ben McFarland are the comedy duo who give away free drinks and educate boozers on the importance of it's history. Picture: STELLA ULLATHORNE

The Thinking Drinkers is a two-man stage performance by Tom Sandham and Ben McFarland, which takes audiences on a journey through the history of their drinking.

The show began the comedy circuit at the infamous Edinburgh Fringe Festival before making it to the West End by the end of the year and has been described as a "pioneer of alcohol-based comedy".

Headed with the mantra "drink less, drink better", the pair use a combination of jokes, dance and magic alongside the tasting of five different drinks which form the centre of the show.

Heroes of Hooch explores the drinking habits of Albert Einstein, Plato, Nelson and God in an intoxicating review of the history of alcohol.

"It's a hilarious and informative imbibing adventure that celebrates the men and women who have used alcohol to light a fire under the rocking chair of moribund ideas rather than those irresponsible imbibers who have given drink its devilish reputation," the pair explained.

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"As historians with a healthy interest in alcohol, we realised that the real interesting stuff emerges when you place it in a historical and cultural context, broadening it beyond booze into the past, the people and the places that have shaped it.

"Historically, drinking and alcohol is the cornerstone of civilisation - always has been - and there are so many fascinating stories and interesting anecdotes linked to drink.

"The reason that monkeys were coaxed down from the trees and evolved into man was because of sweet smelling fruit fermenting on the jungle floor.

"If it wasn't for drink, we literally would not be here."

As for the free drinks accompanying the show, there will be a ruby red gin from the depths of Australia, a luxurious chocolate-flavoured Venezuelan rum and a single malt whiskey named the Singleton of Dufftown 12-Year-Old.

Joining them will be a legendary French liqueur, which is a blend of cognacs distilled with the essence of wild tropical oranges, and a Tetley's unlike any you know - a Yorkshire ale first brewed in 1822.

The two tour the country in an old Royal Mail van but never expected to make a career out of drinking, saying: "It still seems completely absurd to enjoy a really strong following at the largest arts festival in the world where it all began in a freight container."

The Thinking Drinkers will be performing at the Colchester Arts Centre on Saturday, November 9 and tickets can be bought here.


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