BWW Interview: THE CHOIR OF MAN'S Denis Grindel Raises a Glass to Ireland, Friendship, and Manhood in Advance of DPAC Show
Denis Grindel says he's always been a performer. After all, he's Irish. It's in his blood.
"I love telling stories," says Grindel. "It's a big part of my culture."
"You grow up hearing stories and legends and song, it's a big part of what being Irish is," he adds. "So, it was a natural for me to have a life on the stage."
These days Grindel is traveling around the United States as the narrator with the British import THE CHOIR OF MAN. The show, which is the brainchild of Andrew Kay and Nic Doodson, the creators of GOBSMACKED!, premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland a year and a half ago and has been touring around Europe and Australia ever since. This weekend the group plays the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC).
Grindel says the show features a cast of nine men who sing, tap dance, play instruments, and share stories. He adds audiences can also expect to hear a mix of pop songs with a CHOIR OF MAN twist, including Katy Perry's 'Teenage Dream,' The Proclaimers' '500 Miles,' and Adele's 'Hello,' which BuzzFeed calls one of the best male covers of a female pop song.
"The show essentially we like to say is the best pub gig you've ever been to," he says. "It is a celebration of pub culture, but moreover than that, it's a celebration of community."
"We want the audience to leave feeling like they've gained nine new friends," he adds.
And Grindel says he and the lads are making a lot of new friends on the road. In fact, during the pre-show audience members are invited to come up on stage and share a pint from a local brewery with the cast. During the DPAC performance, a pale ale from the Carolina Brewery in Holly Springs will be served.
And while there is no plot per se, Grindel says the through-line that connects all the stories and songs is one that challenges stereotypes and celebrates male bonding.
"At its core, it's based on male camaraderie and based on friendship and the good parts about being one of the guys if you will," he says. "We like to champion the idea, there's strength in numbers, and it's good to talk about your feelings."
"That's what the modern man should be."
THE CHOIR OF MAN plays the Durham Performing Arts Center this Saturday, October 27th. For more information visit: https://www.dpacnc.com/events/detail/choir-of-man.
For more information on THE CHOIR OF MAN tour, visit: http://www.thechoirofman.co.uk/.