The average Adelaide Fringe-goer is an everyday local citizen who doesn’t regularly go to the theatre, and as a result, typically searches for a show that will compensate for this lost time and experience all in one go. As they read the annual program or glance at flyers and posters, they look for a show that will make them laugh, make them feel, make them clap and sing along, and generally blow them out of the water. I can confidently say from my experience this past opening weekend that The Choir of Man is one such show, and I have no doubt will fast become a Fringe festival favourite this year.
The Choir of Man is performed by an ensemble of nine everyday men who just happen to be handsome, funny, and insanely talented – not only can they sing, but they can also play a variety of instruments, dance, flirt, and everything in between. Set in the fictional, but not far from reality old English pub ‘The Jungle’, the cast pour pints (for themselves and lucky audience members) and perform live chorally arranged music, from sing-a-long classics to classic rock, combined with high energy dance and interspersed with comedic anecdotes and considerate commentary on issues facing men every day (a particular highlight of mine was the subtle take down of toxic masculinity in discussing how men feel and need to talk about it). These characters and their backstory’s individually appeal to all genders and ages, but the close-knit connection they share as a group is the real drawcard for the audience, as it culminates in the quality final performance we are treated to.
The Choir of Man is a faultless production – the musical repertoire is varied and very well rehearsed evident in the tight gorgeous harmonies of the group; the set is a beautiful, realistic, interactive space that is used so effectively by the ensemble so every inch is integrated; the props (mostly beer mugs) the performers use are done so with planned precision; the lighting was well used to frame action and set mood; and the audience interaction is spot on, letting patrons feel like part of the onstage party. It is truly a celebration of the comradery, comedy, and choreographic and choral talents of men, and in today’s cultural climate where terrible men are all we seem to see and hear about, it’s so refreshing to see genuinely good guys getting the stage time and standing ovation they deserve. To any Adelaide Fringe-goer looking for their next night out destination, I highly recommend a visit to ‘The Jungle’ – it’s got all the fun (and games) you could want to tide you over until next year’s Fringe!
Rating: 4.75/5 stars
The Choir of Man was reviewed on the 16th of February, and will be performed every day except Mondays until the 17th of March at Gluttony at various times. For tickets or further information, click here.
Thumbnail image via Adelaide Fringe website.