Sometimes the only thing that you need to change your mood is to pop down to the pub and hang out with your friends. A CHOIR OF MAN, playing at the Balboa Theatre on February 14th invites you down to the ultimate pub experience – one full of fantastic music, fun, and nine new friends from the UK and Ireland who are there to put a song in your heart.
Along with those fabulous voices, the cast brings with them a fully working pub where the audience can come up, have a drink, and be a part of the pub on stage before the show starts. Every pub needs an expert who serves the drinks, and that’s where Mark Loveday comes into the show. As the Barman he not only serving pints, but he’s doing it while harmonizing with the rest of the cast.
Mark has plenty of experience singing in front of audiences, he started his preforming career as part of tHer Majesty’s Chapel Royal Choir at St. James Palace; yes, he toured the UK performing for the Queen and the royal family in church services around the country! After studying at the Drama Studio London, he was lucky enough to be a part of the creative process in creating this show.
“The cast, directors and creative team, we all sat in a room for 2 weeks and created this show; about people in pubs, communities, and songs that reflected each character. We’ve gone from performing previews in a warehouse in London, and then going to Edenborough, snowballing to taking us to Australia, America, and now the show is going to be on several cruise ships as well.”
The show tailored the songs to the voices of these nine talented men and that’s why it really showcases a range of genres; there is something for everyone.
“We chose songs that we thought would capture the imagination and hearts of the audience and also have a broad spectrum. Ideally, people come in and everyone can have a song they really relate to and really enjoy. They also tailored them to our voices. We have someone with more of an operatic voice so he gets to do “Impossible Dream” from MAN OF LAMANCHA. I’m more of a rock singer so I can get to do “Pina Colada”and “Somebody to Love.”
We really hope that the songs capture the character. We try to sing them truthfully and they reflect back on the characters that we play within the show and tell stories through the songs. “
While traveling around with your own pub may sound like a dream, it was the combination of storytelling, sharing the community of pub culture, and the encouragement of men being able to open up and express themselves about more things than just sports that that really drew him to the project.
“Speaking for myself, and for a lot of people, pubs are a very important part of my life – it’s a place to socialize with friends and family and get together. It’s a show where we really wanted to highlight masculine friendship and show that the pub isn’t just a place where you have some pints and stagger out at two in the morning. The pub is a community space where people come to connect and tell stories, and share their problems. I’ve been to pubs when I’m upset, or when I’m excited, and we really wanted to create that atmosphere of a place where you can come and share and have a good time and make new friends.”
A CHOIR OF MAN seems to have it all; talented singers and dancers, Mark as a Barman happy to pass out some beer while singing a song, a positive message, and there’s even tap dancing! Even with all of that Mark does have a moment that he is especially fond of performing every night.
“We do an amazing version of Sia’s “Chandelier”, in nine part harmony. It’s the first song in the show where we stand and sing and don’t do anything else. Everything else has been busy and movement ad exciting and this is the first time where we stand there and sing it. It’s beautiful when we get it right; it’s lovely.”
You can see Mark and his fellow performers at the Thursday, February 14th performance of A CHOIR OF MAN at the Balboa Theatre at 7:30pm. For ticket information go to www.broadweaysd.com
Photo Credit: Mark Loveday – A CHOIR OF MAN