ARE you one of those hopeless romantics who loves everything about St Valentine’s Day ... or have you had enough?

Does your heart flutter at the prospect of cards, chocolates and flowers, or have you written it off as a meaningless exercise in consumerism?

Whatever you think of February 14, a good time awaits you at a somewhat odd night of faded grandeur, smudged glamour, music and bingo hosted by a former Hollywood idol called Audrey Heartburn.

Bingo at Tiffany’s is the creation of actress, singer and writer Tracey Collins, who holds her bonkers evening of surreal fun at Florence Park Community Centre, East Oxford.

“Audrey Heartburn is one of my absurd character comedy creations,” laughs Tracey. “She’s a flawed and ridiculous clown version of The Holly Golightly archetype, seeking good times and real love, in the real world.

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“She’s truly delighted to be leaving Hollywood behind her to host Bingo at Tiffany’s in Oxford.”

She goes on: “Audrey is dazzled by the real world and can often be found shaking her maracas down the local pub. She loves shaking a cocktail while telling tragic stories of her fruitless search for romance, and singing her versions of modern classic pop from The Smiths to Pulp and Soft Cell.”

Banbury Cake:

The night is being staged by East Oxford promoter and arts icon Vez Hoper s one of her Irregular Folks events.

Tracey is no stranger to Oxford having previously brought her fellow comic creations Sir Milk Jagger, Fanny Legup and Tina T’urner Tea Lady to town for nights of Steamy Bingo. Bingo is a theme with Tracey – but don’t come expecting a traditional blue-rinse Mecca-style bingo experience.

“It will be a new bingo entertainment delight!” she says.

“It takes place in the wonderful velvet-trimmed, mirror-balled Florence Park Community Centre, which will be our bingo palace for the night. Expect live piano ambiance before Audrey makes her grand entrance and a night of hilarious bingo games, luxury prizes, singalongs and glamorous dancing.”

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Tracey is a creative dynamo, a regular on the Edinburgh Fringe, and is currently writing a one-woman play. She is also creating a sitcom and has a short film coming out soon called Tina & Peter.

“Developing my characters for bingo events has also been an exciting spin off!” she smiles.

So how did she come up with the idea of Audrey?

Banbury Cake:

“The idea came from a photograph I had taken years ago when I used to be in a band,” she says.

“I was trying out various looks and one was a goth Audrey Hepburn style, with a wild messy beehive and black eye makeup running down her face. I thought it was a striking idea: tragic and dramatic..so I used the image to create the character.

“With Audrey, I didn’t spend lots of time researching her life. But I did learn about women in the golden age of Hollywood. And all the pressure put on leading actresses of that time to be pretty and demure.

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“While I mimic Audrey’s on-screen voice and mannerisms, it’s not a straight impersonation. I heighten her behaviours and look for the grotesque.”

Should we love her or feel sorry for her?

“Love her! Don’t feel sorry for her,” Tracey chuckles. “She may be a loser in love, but she’s very fussy, and scares most people off with her ridiculous antics. As you will see…

“Valentine’s Day is bittersweet for Audrey,” she says. “She loves the romance of it, but her expectations are comically unrealistic. She falls in love every minute! Is this one to bring lovers to – or at which to find one!

So is this a place to celebrate Valentine’s Day or escape it?

“It’s up to you!” she says. “You can follow Audrey and embrace the Valentine’s Day spirit, or see it as the perfect antidote for those who can’t bare the Valentine’s fuss. There wont be heart decor…but there will be a lot of love!”

And do we need to dress up?

“It’s totally up to you!” she says. “Dress code is optional, but there is a prize for ‘best dressed’ – so people are welcome to dress in iconic Audrey style or in ‘Hollywood glamour meets bingo palace’ chic.

“My tip is to go for gold, darlings! Bingo is all about speed. So focus on the numbers, put away your phone away and get lost in the game.”

  • Audrey Heartburn’s Bingo at Tiffany’s is at Florence Park Community Centre on Friday, February 14. Doors open at 7pm. Eyes Down at 7.30pm.
  • Tickets from wegottickets.com/event/492243