28 March 2019

Welcome to ‘The Jungle’, where you sing your woes away

| Lisa Herbert
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Your hosts are nine multi-talented blokes with charm and charisma.

Your hosts are nine multi-talented blokes with charm and charisma. Photos: Supplied.

A couple of good-natured blokes linger at their local watering hole, nursing their drinks, various thoughts swirling around in their head. How do you express them? Break into song and dance, of course!

Worldwide smash-hit show, The Choir of Man, is on its way to the Canberra Theatre Centre, 11 to 13th of April and promises what has become known around the globe as “80 minutes of feel-good joy”.

The show, that has had audiences on their feet from the UK to the USA and now Australia, is presented by the creative team behind The Soweto Gospel Choir and award-winning North by Northwest. The Choir of Man is a high-energy show with a huge reputation. A hit at the Edinburgh Fringe and Adelaide’s 2018’s ‘Pick of the Fringe’ award-winner, it is one of this year’s stand-out events.

At The Choir of Man, you’ll spend the night in a typical English pub, being swept along by a celebration of song. The stage at the renowned Canberra Theatre Centre will be transformed into a working bar, ‘The Jungle Bar’ – with beer taps, a piano and player, banjos, trumpets, guitars and your hosts – nine talented, charming blokes from the UK.

These larrikin hosts use their rich voices, complex harmonies, tap-dancing and live percussion to take us on a journey through a playlist of great pub tunes, pop, folk, Broadway classics and rock. There are favourites from Australia’s own Sia, also Paul Simon, Adele, Queen, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Proclaimers and “a secret Aussie favourite” along with a brash bagpipe cameo.

The show’s songs are woven throughout a narrator’s thoughts and musings on men, women, modern-day pubs, delivered in rich, poetic verse, much like the chorus in an ancient Greek drama. UK playwright and poetry slam champion Ben Norris has penned the narrator’s words.

The Choir of Man narrator, Yorkshireman George Bray says “the nine characters you meet along the way are the usual types you’ll find in a pub”. They’re introduced to us through song – the piano man, the pub bore, the talker, the dreamer, the Casanova, the tough guy and others you’ll recognise.

Show narrator George Bray (second from right) insists they’ll have audiences singing along in no time.

“There are human types present in any pub, but we take these archetypes and break them down. We tease out their surprising side, like the soft side of the hard-as-nails guy, and the charming, cuddly side of ‘the beast,’” says Bray.

He believes this way the show explores themes of masculinity. “Our pub, like many, is a safe haven for men to come and share. Don’t sit with your woes alone. Don’t keep things bottled up inside. Share your feelings, and if it’s your turn to listen, then listen.”

Having spent the last couple of years touring the UK and USA, Bray says, “audiences always end up on their feet joining in… we actively encourage it. We sing, dance and drink, and invite and encourage audiences to join us.”

Bray believes, “the show works for its message of community and support, there are these universal needs we have as humans. Our pub is your local pub, so come in and have a beer, join in, have a laugh, a sing and a dance, come together and hash things out.”

Don’t miss out on tickets for this uplifting show, grab them here.

Free giveaway up for grabs!

Win two tickets to Choir of Man on Thursday, 11 April at 7:30 pm through this exclusive giveaway.

To enter, simply tag a mate you’d like to take with you to see the show on Facebook.

Entries close and a winner selected at random on Tuesday, 2 April, with the winner to be announced and contacted on Wednesday, 3 April.

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