‘Our clarion call is ‘Gather; gather and sit,’ says George Bray, the show’s narrator, and gather we did, under the stars in the heart of Gluttony. Transporting us out of the cold and into a warm British pub are our eight new best friends: the Joker; the Hardman; the Casanova; the Pianoman; the Beast; the Pub Bore; and of course Tom, the Barman, who does things with a broom that would make a grown man blush.

The Choir of Man is a powerhouse. An incredibly talented cast making the audience, laugh, cry, tap their feet and feel as though they were ensconced in the heart of Britain, which is quite a feat given our current situation. Covering everything from Paul Simon to Katy Perry, the cast delighted and engaged the audience with their artistry. Our new friends are so breathtakingly talented, their harmonies blending so perfectly, that life stands still for a moment. The choreography is a sheer delight—thigh-slapping, toe-tapping, stein-clanking joy—and there are also moments heartbreak­­. The audience, completely transfixed by an acapella rendition of Sia’s Chandelier one moment, heartily joins in a Proclaimers singalong the next.

The Choir of Man has made a few appearances at Adelaide Fringe Festivals of old, but this year brought a poignant edge to the show. The joy of the artists’ performance is palpable, while the underlying grief for a world ravaged by a pandemic is clearly evident in the final heart-stopping number. 

The Choir of Man is not just a musical showcase set in a pub. It is an ode to community; a timely message about mental health; an opportunity for eight incredibly talented men to showcase their phenomenal talent to an audience eager to embrace normality in a time of upheaval. Gather; gather and sit—and do not miss this performance.

The Choir of Man runs at The Moa, Gluttony until 21 March 2021. Snap up your tickets here.

Rating: 5 stars

By Leila Hallak-Low