The Choir of Man started off with a pre-show brewski on-stage bar with the cast. Who else does this? Welcome to The Jungle pub and got to meet the regular locals. I met with Denis Grindel (Narrator) and Tom Brandon – what a couple of genuine lads. With the audience clinking the glasses, ready for a sing-a-long, we all take our seats.
I felt the show is about the celebration of the local pub, mateship, whether local or a newcomer to the area. An inviting home away from home, a place to banter, to enjoy a pint, perhaps a game of darts and leave your troubles behind.
The show was a runaway hit at the 2017 and 2018 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2018. The Choir of Man makes a triumphant return to Australia.
The Choir of Man’s narrator, Denis Grindel, rhymes a story about when the local was your local, prior to all the fancy bars now. The Choir of Man features nine lads performing a set-list of hits from the likes of Adele, Avicii, Paul Simon, Queen, Guns N’ Roses and more while enjoying a pint or two in The Jungle pub. “The ultimate-feel good show” is about 90 minutes of indisputable joy, awesome ballads, high-energy dance and foot-stomping choreography.
The cast, Hard Man (Tom Brandon), Tapper (Jordan Oliver), Joker (Daniel Harnett), Pub Bore (Richard Lock), Pianoman (Ali Higgins), Cassanova (Matt Beveridge), Beast (Peter Lawrence) and Barman (Mark Loveday).
With the occasional guitar, tap dancing, bar room piano, the show swings from power ballads, to ‘get up and clap your hands’ sing-a-longs. Undeniable talent and smiles from the audience. There were times were I felt out of key singing but didn’t’ stop the rest of the audience in the vibe.
In between the songs, Denis and his Irish charm continue his story and throughout the show members of the cast will drag few audiences members up on stage to raise a glass or even serenade a lady.
The show is quite laid-back, but the cast has worked hard to achieve this light-hearted simplicity. Without giving too much away (I kept my phone off, whilst others took videos), the urinal ballad to the piano version of the Proclaimers’ I’m Gonna Be (5000 miles) to John Farnham’s You’re the Voice.
The crowd is electric and we all had our hands up waving to the music.
The Choir of Man is here to remind you of everything you love about an old-fashioned pub and at the end of the opening show. Denis with a tear in his eye, tells us that ‘When I push through the doors, I know that I’m home’.
I can’t wait to share a pint again with the cast, friends and those that I haven’t yet met.
The Choir of Man
Presented by Sydney Opera House in association with Andrew Kay & Nic Doodson
6 November – 1 December 2019
The Studio, Sydney Opera House, Sydney NSW Australia
Tickets from $59, click here for more details