It may (or may not!) surprise you to know that there are a number of plays, screenplays, and even films that are about bingo or have memorable parts of them involving Bingo. Here are some you may want to look up:
"The Queen of Bingo" is a screenplay for one male and two females by playwright Jeanne Michels & Phyllis Murphy. Where can two sisters, Sis and Babe, on the other side of fifty, who want to add a little zest, fun and excitement to their lives, find it? Bingo of course! It’s a great little play. Here’s the outline plot.
On any Bingo night at St. Joseph’s, you can find Father Mac, Lonnie and Cindy Conklin, Marge Meranski, Coach Anderson, and the many off beat, zany and colourful regulars we meet through the eyes of Sis and Babe, the two main female characters. The ladies dish the dirt, giggle like school girls and share old memories. Sis and Babe are sisters and best friends. They’ve been coming to play Bingo together for years because they love it. And why not??
Sis is a good loser who just loves to play. Babe is a player who has always got to win. Sis is naturally fit and trim. Babe is naturally overweight and always fighting the battle of the bulge. Does this seem like anyone you know so far?
Sis is content in her widowhood. Babe is still looking for love. They compliment each other in ways only sisters can and they drive each other crazy in that same sisterly fashion. On this particular night, Babe and Sis share something new as they each confesses a secret and finds a special kind of redemption. Not going to give the complete game away in case I ever decide to put the play on myself! Lol!
The play was performed originally at Chicago’s Buckingham Theatre, which was transformed into a Bingo Hall. But reading the review, what I thought was a real stroke of genius, was that a real Bingo game took place during the interval which was really enjoyed by the audience, one of whom won the prize of a turkey!
Running at about 90 minutes the play got good reviews in the Chicago papers.
It was then performed in the Old Creamery Theatre, Iowa on Friday, July 8, 2011. The staging was slightly different. The set was simple, with the two main ladies facing the audience from behind a card table set up just how you'd imagine they'd be at a church Bingo function. One had a portable fan and variety of good luck knick-knacks including an 8-Ball. On the left, the other emptied her pink bag full of good luck trolls in a specific order. They sat on chairs with brightly coloured cushions under window panes and a sign pointing to the Boys Locker Room.
The reviewer said:
"What made this play unique was not only the topic of Bingo, but how the actresses, playing sisters, kept the audience engaged and related Bingo to their personal lives. Instead of feeling like we were watching two people on stage, the energized twosome welcomed us into their world, making it feel like we were all a large group of friends sharing an experience. They gossiped about acquaintances and revealed secrets about what playing Bingo really means to them. It isn't just a game."
The play then toured a few other States. A friend of mine in the States went to see it, and said that a few people in the audience were filming it on their camcorders. I’m trying to get hold of a copy as I’d love to sit down at home one evening when I’m not out calling Bingo numbers or playing myself, and see if it’s all it’s cracked up to be. I wonder whether either of the Sisters had a win in the end? I’m not going to tell you! Good Luck!