There is something remarkably welcoming about being handed a free pint with a smile as you walk into a show. The Assembly Rooms have been converted into The Jungle – your friendly local for the night - and your hosts are ready with a drink in one hand and open arms. Taking us on a journey through song, get ready for a wild night with old pals.
All the best bits of your favourite pub (just without the sticky floor).
Eventually we finish catching up and Ben – the narrator of the show and real-life poetry slam champion - introduces us to the remaining eight men at the pub. Each one is uniquely talented, representing men as diverse and inclusive, coming together each night to create new memories. As the show progresses we learned of each of their special skills: trained dancers, opera singers and musicians all make an appearance at some point; each of the multi-gifted cast featured so beautifully to the best of their individual abilities.
Special mention must be given to Andy, a trained opera singer whose stunning rendition of The Impossible Dream left the entire venue speechless. Effortlessly serenading us with his sultry dulcet tones he dominates the space, relishing every last note.
Taking huge chart hits and making them your own is not an easy task, and if you had asked me before if nine men could have given Adele a run for her money with their version of ‘Hello’ I would have laughed – how wrong I could have been. A sombre, melancholy version split into mellow harmonies and repeated phrases was certainly a high point, and John’s leading vocals were exceptionally emotive.
I enjoyed the fact that Choir of Man told a story in the process. Though the songs performed were largely modern classics, they had also been selected on a more personal level. The bartender’s song did not just entertain us: it informed us of his marriage problems, allowing us to get to know him better. The Jungle is a place to leave your worries at the door, and it seems that this applies to everyone. John may work there, but it is more than just a job: it’s his life.
A feast for the senses, Choir of Man will have you dancing down the aisles. Leave your worries in your coat and grab a pint – your friends are waiting: all the best bits of your favourite pub (just without the sticky floor).