UKTW - 25 years online
CORONAVIRUS: All UK venues closed on 16th March 2020, restrictions were lifted on 19th July 2021. Please note that iUKTDb archive listings between March 2020 and July 2021 may not be accurate as we did not receive details of all rescheduled and cancelled shows.

The Choir of Man

5
Seen at the London Wonderground in Earls Court
By Derek

Choir of Man

Free beer! Great musicianship! Brilliant singing! What better way to spend an evening than in The Jungle at London Wonderground? The boys invite us into an old-fashioned pub, where everybody knows your name… Yes, they do play a bit of that music. With lyrical links from Ben, the nine performers spin a heart-warming web of nostalgia – where else would you get Queen with The Pretenders, 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover and The Pina Colada Song with The Parting Glass? It really is a glorious mix-up.

Each performer gets a party piece and the audience is invited to join in – except if you want to walk 500 miles before you get permission. There is wit and erudition blended in here, a variety of instruments and dancing all delivered at pace with pauses to deliver more free beer. With inventive exploitation of their multi-layered set, there is plenty of variety as they dance on table, bar, steps and even the floor. The audience gets into the act a few times too. When they referred to one audience member as being capable of drinking a pint of whisky in 10 seconds, the women in the spotlight stood up and downed her pint in one. A well-deserved ovation for her! That condenses the feel of the show: good humour, gentle ragging and a lot of love for everyone.

The final song really did bring a lump to my throat. Am I such an old softie, or was it the beer? No, it was the shared delight in the performances and enjoying the uplifting sense of community the company conjured up.

Derek Benfield


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