It was a pleasure to be invited along to The Choir of Man gala performance to celebrate their one-year anniversary at the Arts Theatre as well as World Mental Health Day.
The Arts Theatre is the perfect intimate location that brings The Jungle Pub's setting to life with scenery reaching out into the auditorium. The unique element is to explore the stage before the show begins, interact with the cast and even enjoy a beer on tap.
Each choir member has an important role to play, harmonies to sing, instruments to play and an engaging backstory. The cast consists of The Barman (Mark Irwin), The Romantic (James Hudson), The Beast (Tom Carter-Miles), Hardman (Adam Bayjou), Joker (Sam Ebenezer), Handyman (Ben Goffe), The Bore (Peter Lawrence) and The Maestro (Michele Maria Benvenuto).
The narrator-type character ‘The Poet’ played by Michael Hamway, leads us through a loose plot with little character development but even less story. But it's not necessarily a problem here as you’re swiftly moved from song to song.
The show is filled with a dozen or so songs including everything from I’m Gonna Be (500 miles) to Escape (The Pina Colada song) to Fifty Way To Leave Your Lover which brings a brilliant tap routine by Ben Goffee. The evening is packed with familiar faces performed beautifully by the cast who shine brightest together as well as showing off some stunning solos, duos and trios.
The whole show is high-energy and heart-warming - it is one that is universally appealing and you can’t resist but grin your way through the 90 minutes. You’ll laugh, cry and come home with a belly full of beer and a free packet of crisps if you’re lucky.