by Zahid Fayyaz
A brand new venue has opened up in West London, the Wonderground Earls Court, from ubiquitous producers the Udderbelly. With a fairground, beach, bars and an upside down purple cow as a venue space, it is certainly an interesting and different place to see a show.
This evening, Choir of Man is on, a show featuring a nine-man choir that has been around in some form since 2017. Set in a fictional pub, the stage is set up with an actual working bar. Creating audience goodwill from the outset, the performers hand out free pints of beer with a long paddle. This is definitely unusual as part of a show.
Starting with ‘Welcome to the Jungle’, the performers are jumping, singing and performing all over the stage, in one of the most energetic and feel-good starts in the theatre so far this year. The energy is generally high throughout, with the audience often joining in and singing along. Normally the choir would invite the audience onstage to dance with them, but unfortunately that is an aspect of the show which has to be dropped at the moment. The performers more than makes up for it with their own energy.
The songs themselves are extremely well done, with the band playing instruments, drumming along and keeping harmonies at the same time. Highlights are a version of ‘Chandelier’, their rousing cover of ‘500 Miles’ and the kinetic ‘Save Tonight’. The ending of ‘Parting Glass’ is unfortunately a little too boisterous for such a sad song, but this is a minor hiccup in what is otherwise a ridiculously entertaining evening. It is certainly hard to leave without a big smile on your face.
Choir of Man runs through 5 September.
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