[MUSIC/Theatre ~ UK]
The Moa @ Gluttony, Tue 23 Feb.
Returning for a fourth time to the Adelaide Fringe in as many years, this high energy show is a hybrid of part musical, part concert, part cabaret but always fun. Many of tonight’s crowd are return customers, an indication of the show’s popularity. Nick Doodson and Andrew Kay, the creators behind the feelgood content, know their target demographic well. They have included a great mix of fun, superb singing and dancing, and have gone to great lengths to make everyone feel welcome.
The all-male cast represent pub going types, each character a typical guy you might come across in any pub. Any misgivings about the blokey aspect of this concept are put aside with an inclusive script and an eclectic song list designed to get everyone singing along and dancing. The feeling of community spirit and of bonding has the audience obviously wanting to be part of it all, judging by the beaming faces of the people near me tonight anyway. Given the new Covid reality there can be no singalongs with the crowd this year nor audience members getting up on stage to dance and lark about with the lads, but there is a free beer offered at the start of the show. Given the setting this helps us get into the right mood.
Each performer gets a cameo song and a dance piece to shine in – and shine they do. But as you would expect with Choir being in the title it is the harmonies and the balance of their voices which makes this a standout performance. The acting is top drawer too. There is a small narrative to set the scene for each song which enhances our appreciation.
For me the standout segments were the glorious harmonies in Lorde’s Chandelier and a fabulously tight choreographed percussive segment done with beer glasses. Paul Simon’s 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover brilliantly used tap dancing to provide the percussive line, and again the harmonies were superb. Humour was added by giving The Proclaimers’ 500 Miles the classical treatment, and some expressive dancing in Pina Colada had the audience in stitches.
With some changes of cast members over the years and the addition of a few new songs this is a show that has the potential to keep evolving and pulling people back for another uplifting night out. As narrator George Bray says at one point ‘we are all like a family and now you are part of the family too’.
Given the difficult times a show like this is needed more than ever, so get down to Gluttony and meet the new family – you’ll be welcomed with warmth and a cheeky grin.
The Choir Of Man continues at The Moa (open-air) at Gluttony, at various times, until Sun 21 Mar.
Book at FringeTIX on 1300 621 255 or adelaidefringe.com.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.