Reviewer: R .G. Balgray
Funny how a good plan can come together. Take a sentimental feeling of nostalgia for the disappearing traditional pub (the “sticky floor”, all guys together kind of tradition); add the current fashion for community choirs all singing together in different styles, then stir in the persisting survival of the variety act – this will let you know where Choir of Man, currently on its run at the Assembly Rooms Music Hall, comes in.
Which explains some of the origins. But how well does it work? Well. Very well. The kind of pub it imagines relies on a potent mix of stereotypes, just like the blokey “personalities” allocated to the nine singers, dancers and musicians, and as such may be some distance from reality. However, a high hokum factor has rarely got in the way of being a successful production. Here, if you imagine high quality karaoke combined with speed choreography (without forgetting musical instruments as appropriate), in front of an audience of the singers’ pals, it might be possible to approach the warm feel-good glow at the end of the show. And the full-on style of audience participation – singing and dancing allowed, coming up on stage and joining in encouraged, free beers doled out – simply ups the cast’s hi-energy output. Add the wide range of musical styles (from old fashioned stomps to a cappella) – well, that means something for everybody, and explains all those smiles on the audience’s faces as they filed out.
Runs until 27 August 2017 | Image: Contributed