Monday, October 15, 2012

Last Man Standing, 11th October

Last night I competed in a gameshow. No, this one is not televised (and that is probably a good thing) but it was as close as I will ever get to being in a real one. Yes, last night I participated in Last Man Standing, London’s only (as far as I know) interactive gameshow quiz night! It is run by the same lovely folks who run Musical Bingo and offers the same kind of silly, energetic fun you can expect from that night, though in a slightly different guise.

Pick a card, any card... as long as it's true or false
Everyone who attends is a contestant. There are five rounds, a different category for each, and in each round there will be a victor. At the end of the night, these five victors compete against each other to win the grande prize (a bottle of champagne, none too shabby). For each round, the crowd is asked a series of true or false questions, and you have two cards, one saying True and one saying False, from which you have to pick and put one in the air to show your choice. Anyone who gets it wrong is out for the next question and in this way it is whittled down to two or three people who then compete on stage to be the #1 for that round. As with Musical Bingo the winner is decided through various slightly arbitrary games, such as ‘Play your cards right’ or ‘bobbing for sausages’ amongst a) shaving foam, b) chocolate and c) feathers. 

They provide the poncho protection for a messy finale
There are also a few bonus rounds/activities along the way for bonus prizes of shots for your team. One involved creating the tallest structure possible out of the spaghetti and marshmallows on your table (my team hadn’t realised that these were craft ‘supplies’, not treats for us, and, being starving, had tucked into them straight away. I did think it a little odd that they had offered uncooked strands of spaghetti as a snack, but didn’t dwell on it.). 

Yum... uncooked spaghetti
Another was to make a balloon animal out of the balloons they’d given you (the hardest balloons in the world to blow up – our lovely host had to bring round his special balloon inflator to every table to get us started!). I’m happy to say my dog was chosen amongst the finalists, so I made it onto the stage at least, though I wasn’t victorious. It probably goes without saying that I didn’t win any of the other rounds, and neither did my two teammates. Always the bridesmaid and never the bride. Ah well.
My dog. I was robbed!
We had TWO hostesses to help along the proceedings, and keep tabs on who had answered correctly and who hadn’t.  Jo-Jo was reading out the questions, while Gracie had the role of giving out a clue to help us decide which card to go for. Do not be fooled by the clues. While most of the time they led you to the obvious right answer, sometimes they were red herrings! As the night wore on, the hosts were a little less than hawk-eyed when it came to spotting people who had already got a question wrong but were answering the next one anyway. And Gracie was perhaps being a little too generous with her clues to some teams. But hey, the night isn’t an exact science, it’s about having fun, and I’m not complaining if we got a nudge in the right direction every now and again.

This was just the foundation of our tower
They say you can come along on your own, in a couple or with some friends, and I think if you want a better chance of winning then you need to have a few people, so you can play a little tactically and have some chance of sharing the prize. We sort of attempted to do this erratically through the night. Not that it worked. Of course, the more there are of you, the more you’d have to share the prize at the end!

Last Man Standing was held at House of Wolf, a new venue in Angel that is also on my list. I don’t know if I can count last night as having crossed the place off, as it was more about LMS than a general night at House of Wolf. I think I’ll have to go back to see what they normally do – we were constrained to the bottom floor last night when there’s three full floors to explore. I didn’t even get to try their food because, although they promised ‘posh bar snacks’ from House of Wolf’s twitter, the only food we were offered was a venison burger (sorry, venison roll) with chips, for £10. I’m not much of a fan of burgers (though this one did sound nice if you do like them) and didn’t really want to spend a whole tenner on food. And they weren’t serving the chips separately. The kind bartender said he would inquire if they could come on their own and let us know, but he never appeared so we can only presume it wasn’t possible. In its defence, they had only been open since Saturday and obviously hadn’t finalised their bar food menu. I think this was just something put on for the night simply to have some kind of offering and there will be more to choose from in the future.

The night didn’t quite reach the all out party/dancing levels of Musical Bingo but it was still a really fun night, and I’d definitely go back. In the interests of full disclosure, I was invited to come along to this night (although it was on my List already) but considering this isn’t exactly a one-on-one kinda night, I can safely say I don’t think they did anything different or extraspecial on my account for a good review. The fact that I didn’t win at all speaks to that. Otherwise, tickets are a bargainous £5 and nights happen monthly. 

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