REVIEW: Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus

Besi Besemar December 2, 2014

Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus staged their annual Christmas Show Putting on the Glitz at the Theatre Royal this year and the move proved to be a triumph.

Brighton Gay Men's Chorus

THE PRODUCTION which was completely sold out had it all, great singing, stylish staging, funny segues and memorable solo numbers.

Previous Christmas shows at the Dome have suffered from sound issues but not this year. The sound was spot on but more significantly the theatre venue breathed fire, passion and drama into the sound the Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus produced on the night and long may it continue.

More accustomed to the rather contained sound the choir have been trained to produce over the years, in the surrounds of the Theatre Royal they let their hair down and it was a relevation.

As the choir opened their hearts and lungs their trademark musical phrasing and sensitivities  were not lost in the vast space of the Theatre Royal stage. In fact at times especially in On My Own from Les Miserables the ensemble singing was near perfection sending shivers down my spine. This was magnificent choral singing at its very best.

A great concert is not just about the singing, it is about the programming, the script and the staging. Nothing here was left to chance. The script was ingenious but not intrusive, the staging stylish and simple. The solo singers performed numbers that showed their talents off perfectly and the sophisticated humour and pathos injected by Stephen Tucker who always seems to be the bridesmaid, was heart warming and judged to perfection.

Musical highlights from the chorus included; a passionate and powerful rendition of Radio Gaga with soloist Andrew Williams touching the parts other singers fail to reach, his vocal captured the mood of the number perfectly and for me provided the musical highlight of the evening.

Baker Street presented the chorus at its technical best, a musical instrument singing at the end of the conductors baton to a very clever arrangement by the choirs accompanist and assistant musical director Tim Nail, whose arrangement of Adam Ants Prince Charming was also spot on. The Impossible Dream was the perfect finale number to bring a brilliant musical showcase to a close.

Special mention must be made of the musical and stylishly executed Do Wop Medley performed by Dean Cowlard, Andrew Farr, Tim Salter and Andrew Williams.

Great choirs don’t just happen they evolve and as they approach their tenth anniversary Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus are presently at the top of their game marshalled by their multi talented Musical Director Marc Yarrow and accompanist and Deputy Musical Director, Tim Nail who¬†not only is a great accompanist but at times makes you forget the choir is being accompanied by just a piano. The two together make an impressive team.

With a back team of supporters and helpers including photographers, programme sellers and dancers, Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus are the complete package and something the LGBT community and City¬†can be immensely proud of.

If ever there was a case to highlight the pressing need for another live performance venue in Brighton, such as the Hippodrome it was this show. Traditionally staged at the Dome, Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus had to take a 50% cut in audience numbers when the show moved to the Theatre Royal because there was no workable date available at the Dome and there was no other venue to stage a community concert for 1,500 people in the City. Shocking really as the outcome is that less money gets raised for the charity or good causes Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus are supporting on the night.

Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus: Putting on the Glitz

Theatre Royal, New Road, Brighton

Sunday, November 30

For more information about Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus, click here:¬†