Wellington turns the hell out for a pub quiz. I’ve been to a fair few pub quizzes around Wellington and they usually pack out and this time is no exception. Cavern Club is full of us trivia-bandits but the audience is a little shy this Wednesday. However, once Alex Love takes the stage, we perk up, ready for a good time. “Well, hello, Wellington, how’re ya doing tonight?” Love begins, looking sarcastically unimpressed with our lukewarm responses. “I’m going to need you to amp up your fake enthusiasm.” he retorts, grinning as we whoop louder while Love sets up his bell and dings it.
The bell is Love’s assistant throughout the show. He explains that everytime he is going to say a fact he is going to ding his bell. Ding. OK, that was a fact, here’s another one: The show is made up of one half comedy and one half pub quiz. Ding. As Love begins the comedy part, I get my pen ready to take notes, certain that these jokes will contain clues for the answers later on as they did last year. It does seem rather familiar though. I expected the show to be similar to last year, but some of the jokes are the same and I can predict what questions will be coming up in the quiz portion.
Still, the show is entertaining and the people around me are loving it. Love is very personable and has a good-natured wit that speedballs banter at the more vocal in the audience with a striking immediacy. “Oh, you’re a social worker?” Love asks a woman in the front who had admitted the first live band she had seen was Dire Straits. “You must find a lot of dire straits in your line of work,” he replies off the cuff. Love appears to be the epitome of those times you are in the shower thinking, “Oh, it would have been really cool if I had said THAT”, the Armando Iannucci-ian repartee a skill I greatly admire.
Now comes the pub quiz and I was correct. Some of the questions are the same as last year which gives me an unfair advantage so I refrain from joining a team this time. Love keeps us on track and is quick to squash any teams that have been liberally given half points. It is hilarious and I love watching those around me whisper frantically with their teams about potential answers.
How To Win A Pub Quiz combines the fun of a pub quiz with comedy that, while not groundbreaking, has an easy pleasantness to it that will cheer you up and still has the red herring questions rewarding those who pay attention from the beginning. While I was personally a little disappointed in places the show was the same as in 2019, this audience thoroughly enjoyed themselves and reminded me why I loved How To Win A Pub Quiz so much last year.
How To Win A Pub Quiz is on at the Cavern Club from Wednesday, 4th of March until Saturday, 7th of March. You can find tickets here.