The Choir of Man

The Choir of Man
Presented by Andrew Kay and Nic Doodson. Directed by Nic Doodson. Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse. 28 December - 12 January, 2019/2020.

This is a fun-filled show that operates on some deep-seated nostalgia for an era in which the pub was a safe and welcoming place where people could gather and feel at home. This utopian atmosphere is beautifully captured through the vibrant and powerful singing voices of this choir of men. The music, song and dance encourages a recasting of the pub as a place for these down-to-earth British blokes to enjoy their drink but also a place in which they should learn to be more communicative and not bury their emotions.

The mixture of new generation masculinity and the nostalgia for simpler times can appear somewhat at odds. However, this is very easy to overlook when they burst into song with their own take on some classic pop music. Numbers by Avicii, Adele, Sia, Queen, and Guns 'n' Roses are among the favourites that feature in this show and the pub atmosphere emanates from the stage in the form of flowing beer as well as audience participation and sing-alongs.

The extraordinary voices and often celestial harmonies they create produces a feel-good show of rather epic and intense proportions. The choreography and movement (Freddie Huddleston) is dynamic and awe-inspiring, the poetry/narration (Ben Norris) is disarmingly heart-warming and the musical arrangement (Jack Blume) is irresistible. This is a show which tugs at your heart strings and just won’t let go.

Patricia Di Risio 

Photo credit: David and Chris McCann

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