Review | ‘The Choir of Man’ is an impressively choreographed show

The Choir of Man | The Ice Cream Factory | Until 9th Feb | ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ 

Nine handsome young hipsters take to stage and begin singing the Guns and Roses classic Welcome to the Jungle. Back in the 1980’s when Axl Rose was writing the lyrics he probably never envisaged the tune would end up getting a musical theatre treatment, but here we are.

The Jungle we’re being welcomed to is a traditional British pub, like the ones once found in nearly every neighbourhood, but have slowly disappeared as they have been unable to complete with streaming services and easily accessible dial-in fast food delivery.

With traditional names like The Kings Head, The Queen Vic, The Black Horse or modern takes like The Book Club, or The Jungle, the local pub is under threat. This show is an ode to the bar where everyone knows your name.

The performers work their way through many well known pop hits, each given a fresh take and rearranged for nine voices. Taking hits from everyone from Sia, Adele and Katy Perry to John Farnham and Queen, there was something for everyone.

This show has no shocks or surprises, there’s nothing risque or rawkus, it’s just good old fashion fun. This is the show you’re going to take you Mum or your Grandma to see. It’s utterly sweet and charming.

These boys are exceptionally talented singers, musicians and dancers, and there are some sensational moments, their delivery of The Kinks Waterloo Sunset was simply beautiful, and the enthusiastic swell of FUN’s Some Nights saw them dancing over the bar, clanging beer glasses together, banging the feet and the audience clapping their hands.

The crew regularly pulled members of the audience up onto the stage to join in their fun, there was heaps of humour in their work and the entire production was tightly choreographed down to every line, every smile, every wink.

I couldn’t help but wonder why there were no women in this pub, and why they were all came across as so very heterosexual, surely with that amount of singing and dancing at least one of them should have been sporting some overalls or a creatively queer earing. It was all a very boisterous and blokey.

The audience clearly loved the experience and the cast were rewarded with an enthusiastic standing ovation.

Book tickets to see the show at Fringe World.

Graeme Watson is an editor at OUTinPerth. He has a background in writing, dance, theatre, radio and film working as a performer, producer and writer. He is a casual academic at ECU, and writes for a variety of publications. Graeme has been working as a reviewer since 1997.   

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