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The Choir of Man - Arts Theatre Review

Reviewed by Amelia Bascombe

Disclaimer - tickets were gifted in return for honest review 

A British musical that had its start at Edinburgh Fringe in 2017, The Choir of Man has taken the West End by storm. Having played successfully on the Norwegian Cruise Line, at Sydney’s Opera House and the John F. Kennedy Center, the production is currently at the Arts Theatre as part of its second West End run. Directed by creator Nic Doodson, and produced by both him and co-creator Andrew Kay, the pair came up with the idea in 2016 and premiered the show the following year at Edinburgh Fringe, receiving a great response from the audience and critics. 5 years later, a new cast takes on the Olivier nominated production, but does the show still play as well?

The cast of The Choir of Man. Photo by The Other Richard

The short answer is yes. Considering I’ve already booked tickets to go again, I stand by this 5 star review with pride. This show is the beating heart of what the West End should be: a place to have fun and be your own authentic self. 

The cast seem like they’ve all been friends for years and encapsulate the relationships you make down your local pub. Each character has their own individual story and they’re all given a chance to shine. My highlights include Mark Irwin’s take on the Piña Colada song and Tom Carter-Miles serenading an audience member with Teenage Dream. 
Michael Hamway delivers a commanding performance as The Poet, arguably the subtle lead of the choir and his monologue about each member is captivating and really hits home. My favourite individual performance however comes from Ben Goffe. I may be bias towards a bit of tap, but it was unexpected and utterly brilliant to watch him create music with his feet. Every time I clocked him putting on his tap shoes, I got a little bit giddy! 

Following on from making music, each actor is a multi-instrumentalist, and just when you think they’ve mastered playing one instrument, they go and blow you away playing something else. I’ve never seen such a talented ensemble cast that rely on the bond they have to push each other to reach the most optimum outcome. This show proves that when we come together, friendship can truly get you through anything. This is a group of men unapologetically being themselves and showing that talking and being there for one another is the best kind of medicine.

The band is made up of 4 incredibly talented musicians who also get involved with the folk celebration, and are made to feel as much of a part of the group as the actors are.

The cast of The Choir of Man. Photo by The Other Richard

The pub setting is exactly what you expect and is a vibrant and bright space that elevates the atmosphere even further. The staging speaks for itself and doesn’t need to rely on any flashy effects in order to coordinate with the story. Transitions between each song were seamless and the choreography is understated, which again works well within the setting. On the other hand, the finale is an absolute masterpiece of glass tapping and punchy choreography that made me want to get right on that stage. I never felt the need for an interval, and could’ve stayed all night. 

Shoutouts to the brilliant behind the scenes crew of Jack Blume, Freddie Huddleston, Oli Townsend, Verity Sadler, Richard Dinnen, Sten Severson, Ben Norris, Hollie Cassar, Lee Freeman and Liam McDermott.

I urge anyone and everyone to see this show and think it appeals to such a vast demographic of people. The show is now booking until February of 2024, so you have plenty of time to get yourself down to the Jungle!

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Choir of Man continues at London’s Arts Theatre with tickets available from

The cast of The Choir of Man. Photo by The Other Richard

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