Welcome to the Jungle! The appropriately named fictional pub that is set within the walls of the Arts Theatre. As soon as you have entered into this space, you are personally invited (and encouraged) to come onto the stage from the cast for a cheeky free pint. Everything about this setting is quintessential to any British bar experience. The smell of beer, the sticky floors and (of course), the brandish men who try to build towers from packs of playing cards. You know that you haven’t just come for a show- you have come for an experience.
The Choir of Man is a joyous event that makes a night out with friends a never ending boogie
We are soon introduced to the ensemble of performers that create The Choir of Man who are glued together through the words of the Poet (Ben Norris). His engaging influence throughout the 80 minute production, allows us to understand the various walks of life that are drinking in the bar and the importance of the community around them. Blending stories that intertwine with realism, relatable to the modern day pub-goer and noting that some pubs have their own football team or dance troupe, the Jungle has their own choir.
The jukebox musical combines a karaoke of feel good songs that you never want to end from the likes of Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream, 500 Miles by The Proclaimers to Hello by Adele and a beautifully A Capella adaptation of Titanium by Sia! The Choir of Man is a joyous event that makes a night out with friends a never ending boogie that pulls at the heartstrings and with harmonies for days - who wouldn’t be in awe?
Not only are you encouraged to collect a free pint from the on stage bar before the show, audience members are continually brought into the setting of the Jungle by being guided onto the stage at certain points of the show for a dance or a serenade. The pints keep on flowing as the cast will also jump down to hand out more drinks and even the occasional packet of crisps. Let’s just hope they aren’t cheese and onion flavoured or the people sitting next to you might want to change seats.
In a year where all the doors to our favourite locals were closed, The Choir of Man highlights the importance of company. A home away from home and an idea that you have somewhere safe to go and relax - by putting all those stresses away and catching up with friends all for the sake of having a good time. The show makes a natural night out at the pub that doesn’t cost too much but has memories that last a lifetime but also holds as a reminder that without places like these- there would be no sense of belonging for many people.
The Choir of Man might just seem like a show about nine men in a bar singing songs and drinking pints but to the audience this is a homage to every weekday quiz night, football team gatherings, family Sunday roasts or just an excuse to go out and see your mates.
It is safe to say that the Choir of Man is a unique gem in the West End that is only running until 13th February 2022 at the Arts Theatre. So grab a friend or two and drink plenty of beer! You are definitely in for a treat with this.