Have you ever been sitting at your favourite pub, enjoying a drink with mates and, all of a sudden, you hear your favourite song playing? You resist the urge to singalong, to stomp your feet, to get up and let it belt from the top of your lungs, no? Just me then? Okay.
But if you have experienced this sensation, then The Choir of Man is your type of show. Truth be told, it’s a show for anyone who enjoys music, mateship, a beer or two and just having a jolly good time.
‘Welcome to the Jungle’ serves two purposes, it introduces us to the nine men that make up the pub choir at The Jungle – a pub setup on stage, made to look as best it can like a true UK pub.
Don’t let the set deceive you, though. This is a proper working pub and you can buy drinks from the bar before the show starts, and throughout the show, pints are continually pulled, cocktails consumed and shots are served.
George is the narrator for the night, and charismatically rhymes his way in between songs to paint a picture of how a pub is more than just four walls and sticky floors, but it can be your home, filled with friends that are just as close as family.
All nine performers bring something special and unique to the stage, and all get a chance to shine as they perform a wide variety of songs, which include ‘500 Miles’, ‘Fifty Ways to Lose Your Lover’, ‘Hello’, ‘Waterloo Sunset’ and ‘Escape’ (aka The Pina Colada Song).
Their musical stylings range from full acapella to multiple instrument accompaniment, played by the choir boys themselves. A diverse range of instruments seem to magically appear throughout the show, some expected like the piano, guitar and banjo, but some quite surprising like the violin, melodica and the Irish drum.
But it isn’t just voices and instruments that blend beautifully together on stage. Tap shoes make an appearance and add a lovely depth to not only the sound, but also the gritty feeling of the show overall.
My personal favourite songs were ‘Somebody to Love’ and ‘You’re the Voice’, which encouraged the loudest singalongs of the night. And you haven’t lived until you’ve heard nine men sing Sia’s ‘Chandelier’ acapella.
The only small negative I have about this show is that it wasn’t long enough! Our 90 minutes spent at The Jungle created many rolling goosebump moments and I really didn’t want the night to end.
In a quiet moment of reflection, the thought did occur to me that, with Sydney’s current nightlife situation, how soon it will it be before the humble local bar is something that lives in the history books only? This will indeed be a dark and sad day, and one this writer never hopes to see.
THE CHOIR OF MAN – SEASON DETAILS
WHEN: Playing until 7 April 2019
WHERE:The Studio, Sydney Opera House
PRICES: From $49 + booking fee