Review By Tatum Stafford
As the mammoth crowd was ushered into The Ice Cream Factory’s mainstage on Thursday night, it was clear nobody really knew what merriment we were in for. As people found their seats, the show’s upbeat cast members called out to indicate that “our home is your home – so come up and grab a free beer on us.”
There is a fully-equipped bar at the back of the stage, so people made their way up to grab a drink, smiling happily and bopping back to their seats. As the lights dimmed and the show’s opening song “Welcome to the Jungle” blared through the speakers, there were smiles all round. Over the next 80 minutes, none of these smiles seemed to fade.
The premise of ‘Choir of Man’ is simple. The audience are invited into the ‘Jungle’, the local pub of this gang of mates. Each man has their own story, background and personal quirks, and each has a solo song to express their innermost feelings and desires. There’s a fantastic selection of songs, offering everything from Adele’s “Hello” to Rupert Holmes’ classic “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)”.
The show’s narrator provides a strong, consistent through line that connects each man’s story with style. One of the show’s most heartfelt and poignant songs is “Waterloo Sunset” by The Kinks, which is sung by all of the men together to signify their togetherness in a place away from their hometowns. Towards the show’s end, a touching performance of the Irish drinking song “The Parting Glass” is another emotive standout.
Whilst the show has a few solemn moments, the energy of the cast should be commended above all. Songs such as “500 Miles”, and the opening mash up of “Save Tonight” and “Wake Me Up” are particularly vibrant, and the audience were quick to leap to their feet once the chorus of “Some Nights” by F.U.N permeated the room.
This show is a sure-fire Fringe hit, and is the perfect show to bring the whole family along to. Fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe and tours across the United States, there’s a good chance this show will become a successful repeat offender at our beloved Perth Fringe World – but don’t stress, as their season in the 2020 Fringe is far from over. Catch them at The Ice Cream Factory – you won’t regret it.
All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.