If your idea of a good night out is being surrounded by your best mates, in a pub with some great live music, Choir of Man is for you.

This isn’t your traditional musical; it isn’t all jazz-hands, incredible set design and big show tunes, instead it is 90 minutes of watching nine incredible ‘lads’ singing well-known tunes, having a bit of banter, playing instruments and getting the audience involved.

Produced by Immersive Everywhere, Nic Doodson, Andrew Kay, Wendy & Andy Barnes and AK Theatricals; as far as the West End goes, this is about as relaxed as theatre can be with the actors in jeans and trainers in an on-stage pub.

If this all sounds like something you can get on board with, you probably want to know what it is about?

It is set in a traditional pub called The Jungle and whilst we learn some of the back-stories of the nine ‘regulars’ as narrated by Michael ‘The Poet’, there isn’t a storyline to follow. Instead, they belt out modern pop songs, older classics and even some folk tunes sometimes accompanied by the band, and sometimes the cast play their own instruments (and sometimes both). What is clear is that despite the banter and the jokes, this is a supremely talented cast who seamlessly navigate through the script, the songs, the audience interaction, and the choreography with what seems like unscripted ease. You believe the show you are watching is a one-of-a-kind such is the natural chemistry and energy of the actors – and there is a lot of energy!

The audience participation and interaction is fun and respectful without being humiliating; it is testament to the relaxed atmosphere created as soon as you walk into the intimate theatre, that it doesn’t feel contrived in any way. So much so that you can have a drink at the bar on stage with the actors before the show starts properly. (Note – sit in the aisle seats of the stalls if you want the chance to be selected to be part of the show!)

You will watch the cast perform covers of well-known songs such as Hello by Adele, 500 Miles by The Proclaimers and Chandelier by Sia. It sounds like a bonkers mix of songs to be performed by nine men but it works in a really un-cheesy way – this is not like watching a covers band at a wedding.

There is an important message conveyed towards the end about men’s mental health and men often not talking about their problems. Therefore, they have a year-long fundraising partnership with mental health and suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). Not only that, but whilst it looks like the cast are downing pint after pint of beer on stage, they are actually supporting Big Drop Brewing Co. – the world’s first brewer dedicated to alcohol-free beer. This is a musical with a big focus on social impact.

Choir of Man is a really ‘bloke’ friendly musical, in fact it is really a musical for everyone. You are transported to a typical British pub and for 90 minutes, you can forget you are in London’s West End theatre district. You’ll come out with a huge smile on your face (and possibly with a bruise on your nose from one of the beer mats they throw into the audience) and immediately want to go back and see your mates again.

By Sarah Canning – Student Pages Features Editor [Accommodation]