The Choir of Man has returned
Reviewed at Gluttony on 21 February 2019
Presented by Andrew Kay & Associates
Previous winner of Adelaide Pick of the Fringe, and popular regular at Edinburgh Fringe, The Choir of Man has returned to our fair city for a sizeable season at Gluttony.
Judging by last night’s audience, they will have no trouble filling The Moa with appreciative, adoring fans.
A concept show, the stage is set up like an old British pub, complete with working alcohol which is sometimes handed out to the audience. The guys sing a variety of popular songs, intertwined by the MC delivering thoughts on men, pubs and related matters, in almost Homeric verse. Occasionally a member of the audience is brought on stage to dance, or join in. It’s formulaic, slick and very tight.
Music is mostly backing-tracks, although the working piano in the “bar” is used, along with a random banjo, trumpet or guitar. The singing is fabulous and there is also a goodly selection of dancing and juggling. Repertoire includes Hello, Somebody to Love, Waterloo Sunset, and the unusual choice of Paul Simon’s brilliant 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover. The night finished with a huge sing-along to The Voice, which was clearly inserted for the Australian audiences. I’m guessing in America they finish with something like Springsteen…
This is a hugely popular show. It’s well put-together. The stage-craft is faultless. But there was just something missing. The show is so slick and so packaged, that the humanity has been sucked out of it. Which is not to say that it doesn’t make a cris-de-coeur for men’s mental health and other worthy causes. It just doesn’t feel immediate or authentic.
However, I don’t think any of the other audience members last night were concerned about that: a rollicking good time was had by all.
Choir of Man is certainly an enjoyable and inoffensive night out.
Reviewed by Tracey Korsten
Venue: The Moa at Gluttony
Season: 22nd February-17th March various times
Duration: 60-80 minutes