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Ben Goffe - interview

The Arts Theatre is the place to be, as a visit to The Jungle bar is an unforgettable night of music with meaning. Featuring a vast mix of genres, the soundtrack to The Choir of Man includes everything from Guns N Roses to Adele, fitting for audiences of all. Telling stories through each moment, the cast delves into the importance of friendship: it's a perfectly blended cocktail of uplifting joy and thoughtful poignancy. This 90 minutes of pure entertainment is a tonic, and will only leave you wanting to become a regular.


To find out more, read my 5 star review here:


Ben Goffe is a fantastic part of the cast, and has kindly told us a bit about his experience in the show.


 

How have you found your experience so far starring as the Handyman in The Choir of Man


I’m absolutely loving my time on The Choir of Man! The show is such a feel-good piece of theatre and it’s a joy to perform it every night. The Handyman character is basically me in real life so it never feels like work, I always feel like I’m coming into the theatre to have a laugh with the rest of the company and that’s a great feeling.




What messages do you think hold the most value in the production, and why do they resonate with you personally?


I think the most important message is friendship. There’s a lovely speech in the show which we call “2 Teas and a Talk” and it’s about just being there for each other especially when times are tough. I personally have lost family members and having this wonderful group around you really does make you feel better.




It looks like so much fun performing the piece - what is your favourite part of the script, and how is the joy balanced with the deeper themes?


I have 2 favourite moments! I love the song “Some Nights” which comes at the end of the show. It’s a big dance number and it always gets the audience on their feet. My other moment is when we sing “Chandelier”. It’s the first moment when we actually just stand and sing a song without movement or instruments. The whole show is a rollercoaster of emotions as at one point, you could be laughing at our “Dad Dancing” during “Pina Colada” and the next you could be crying as we sing “Dance With My Father”.




What do you enjoy most about being part of a show with so much audience interaction, and have you had any especially memorable exchanges so far?


I love the fact that we have a lot of audience interaction. Before the show even starts, we come out and have a chat to the audience which people really enjoy as it sets the mood for the evening. Of course, there have been a few “enthusiastic” guests especially when one of the cast members sings “Teenage Dream” to an audience member but it’s always fun to see how they react.




Having to explore a range of musical genres through the tracks, which are you most drawn to and why?


I love all the music in the show but I do especially enjoy the acapella numbers. There’s something special about just hearing 9 voices without any instruments in the background and you can hear a pin drop when we sing our final song, “Parting Glass”.




How did you prepare to take on the role, and what is the most technically difficult part of the show to perform?


For me, the most difficult part of the show is “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover”. It’s the big tap number in the show and I don’t stop for the whole number (I even tap sitting down!) I also jump onto the table, the bar, from bar to table and from table to bar so it’s a big number but I absolutely love performing it.




What skills have you incorporated into the piece that differ from other shows you have been part of?


Because we are all actor-musicians, we get to play a range of different instruments. I play trumpet, piano and percussion but my favourite instrument is the trumpet. I’ve been playing for 20 years and it's so nice to bring that skill to this show. Normally I don’t get to play the trumpet in the shows I’ve performed in as there has always been a trumpeter in the band/ orchestra so it’s really nice.




Have you fostered a genuine friendship and connection with your fellow company members to share that on stage?


Yes!! We have become such a close group of friends and I know that we will keep in contact for years to come. For me, I’ve never really had a close group of male friends so this is really nice. We’ve been to a driving range, had a night at bowling and of course, many trips to the pub!




What encouraged you to build a career in the arts industry and what has been your proudest moment with regards to this?


My parents are both in the industry (my dad is an actor and my mum is an international dance examiner). I started dancing when I was 3 years old at their dance school and haven’t stopped! I’ve been part of some amazing shows but working at the RSC for 2 years has to be a highlight. I’ve also been fortunate to work at the National Theatre and again, that was a joy.




How would you describe The Choir of Man in a single sentence?


The best pub concert you’ll ever go to! Music, Mates, Good Times!


 

That was two, but will let you off for being so lovely Ben! Thanks so much for your wonderful answers, and hope to see you again in The Jungle soon - hope you continue having a great run with the show.



It's a must-see, get your tickets here:




Additional thanks to Arabella Neville-Rolfe for coordinating this interview.

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