The Choir of Man has steadily progressed from a fringe show to a West End favourite. Having premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017, the show is now in its second run at the Arts Theatre – and this is undoubtedly the most feel-good show on in the West End right now!

Credit: The Other Richard

Oli Townsend’s set transports you into a local pub as soon as you enter the auditorium. The production does not include a plot in the traditional sense; instead, the show combines Ben Norris’ heartfelt monologues with popular music to create something truly unique. And there is plenty of uniqueness to this production. For one, you can go onstage before the show begins, buy a pint of beer, and enjoy this whilst interacting with the cast, giving the show an almost immersive feel. You can sing along throughout, and videos and pictures are allowed to be taken during the show (as long as the videos are short).

The show uses the real names of the performers within the script, and in a section of the show about home, we get to know each of them as the monologue is tailored to each individual, explaining to the audience where or who home is for all of them. It’s a great touch that reminds us that this show symbolises real people and reality. Sticking with its fringe roots, the show does incorporate some audience participation – you may be serenaded, and you may be invited on stage. It’s all great fun and further immerses the audience in the production.

Credit: The Other Richard

There are some new members of the cast and some more familiar faces, seen in The Jungle before. Michael Hamway dons The Poet’s white t-shirt this time around and proves a charismatic performer with great delivery of tender, heartfelt monologues. Luke Conner Hall as The Romantic displays impeccable vocals and a beautiful falsetto, and remains high energy throughout – my eyes were often drawn to his way throughout the performance. Ben Goffe’s footwork is also excellent. But this show is a true ensemble piece, and the cast is strongest together, particularly when it comes to their pitch-perfect harmonies. The show now includes the musicians more, with them coming onto the stage a few times during the show and sharing a beer or two. The only aspect the production could improve upon is the diversity within its cast.

The Choir of Man is the happiest of Happy Hours – a show you can rewatch again and again, it’s that good. It’s a show with universal appeal; I can’t think of one person I know that wouldn’t love this.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Choir of Man is booking until February 2024 – find out more here!

The show has partnered with suicide prevention charity CALM (The Campaign Against Living Miserably), with the aim to raise £10,000 for the charity’s vital work over the next year. Support them here!

Read our review of the show at Edinburgh Fringe in 2022!

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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