Choir Of Man, Underbelly - London Wonderland
When someone says it’s a show about 9 guys singing in a pub you might mistakenly think of an East End watering hole with knees up mother brown ringing in your ears or drunken karaoke evening !
Choir of Man is neither of these, it’s a heart warming, spirit lifting musical showcase. From the top of the show the interaction by the cast, who hand out beers and chat to the audience, allows us to feel like we are in The Jungle pub and part of the camaraderie I witnessed on stage.
The opening where we were introduced to all the characters was a nice touch but without a programme I couldn’t remember who they all were and I would have liked to have known something about their backgrounds.
The opening number certainly woke us up. All the guys gave strong performances but there were some who really stood out. . I particularly liked Ben, he took us on this journey as the narrator and had great stage presence as well as heaps of boyish charm. Another strong performer was Ed playing The Beast, who not only sang well, he had incredible un-flagging energy and played numerous musical Instruments while bouncing around the stage! A young man of many talents.
In addition, Keith delivered a jaw dropping tap routine which saw him flying around the stage, on and off various pieces of furniture and giving us a masterclass in the techniques and skills of tap dancing. Fan-Tap-tastic!
We were also delighted by the barman (sorry I can’t remember his name) who gave us great comedy with the Pina Colada song and mazing vocals for Queens - Somebody to Love.
The way in which the shows narration reflects on the past 18 months too was an interesting and refreshing element of the show. Again allowing us to be a part of 'their gang!'
The only issue I had and it’s a very small one is that I thought the Piano Man character didn’t really seem to gel with the other guys. It was as if he was out on a limb, he didn’t know all the words to the songs which was noticeable and often didn’t look like he knew what he was supposed to be doing. As all the other guys were so tight in their performances for me it seemed that he wasn’t quite up to their incredibly high standards. However his piano playing was great.
Again without a programme it’s hard to remember all the songs we heard, as well as which character did them so I apologise for not being able to say more about other individuals.
However, I must commend the lads on the glass banging routine towards the end of the show. It was so well delivered and very tight and I love a good routine using props. The singing throughout was astounding. The show is full of fantastic harmonies which were so beautiful to listen to. The Parting Glass was a perfect example and just the right ending to the show.
This is a show everyone will love, even if you’re not hugely fond of musical theatre this will still give you such a feel good feeling and a night out watching the highest quality of live performance once again with a beer in your hand!.
Get down to London Wonderland to see this production before it closes on the 5th September - you won't be disappointed.