The Choir of Man

Welcome to the Jungle Public House. How have I not been so far?

The Choir of Man is celebrating two years in the West End, and has just welcomed a new cast. So many friends have been, and all, without fail, have loved it, many going more than once, which is always testament to a great show, and great night out.  The show started at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017, arriving in the West End a few years later garnering many fans. 

My evening started with the trip onto the stage to grab my free pint of beer and after milling around for a few minutes, it was back to my seat with said pint, to await the show.

The concept is as refreshingly simple as my pint. It’s an evening in an old fashioned pub. The sort where the food is a packet of pork scratchings or a packet of crisps, and be prepared to catch a packet of crisps, or a beer mat during the show! We watch and listen as the cast of nine (with four swings) and band of four, sing, tell stories and interact with much humour and fun, and just a little sadness and poignancy, to tell us about their lives and loves.  It’s a celebration of camaraderie, of friendship.

This new cast didn’t have a weak link. Each beautifully created character, sang and danced, and often played a musical instrument, to create the scene. I particularly enjoyed Barman Mark Irwin, and Poet Sam Ebenezer, as well as Robert Godfrey’s Beast and Ben Goffe’s Handyman. But everyone on that stage deserves full credit!

Talking of which, it’s not just the cast and musicians who occupy the stage…there are several times during the show when audience members get the chance to shine, so beware! But it’s done well, and it’s clear that the audience participants are very willing to enter the Jungle and join in the fun.

The songs are all strong. The opener ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ is still ringing in my ears long after the show had finished! I also really enjoyed ‘The Pina Colada Song’, Sia’s ‘Chandelier’ and the closing song, ‘The Parting Glass’, was just stunningly performed. That in particular, was very moving. It’s brave to end with a song about loss, and some audience members certainly had tears in our eyes. There is though an upbeat encore to send us home with joy in our hearts once more.

This show was reviewed on the 17th April 2024 at the Arts Theatre, London where it is booking until the end of September 2024.  Tickets available here: The Choir of Man | Official West End Tickets (

Review written by Ruth Hawkins


Photo credit: Ruth Hawkins & The Other Richard

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