• VENUE:Saltburn Theatre
  • DATE:Thursday 27 June 2024
  • TIME:7:30 PM
  • PRICE:£10 + b/f

We are Infant Hercules

Mike McGrother presents a show that will make you laugh, cry and revel in the sheer power of song


10 years ago local musician and Wildcats of Kilkenny frontman Mike McGrother was asked to put a choir of men together for a one off event in Redcar. Inspired by our steel-making industry and pioneering heritage, Mike set about creating a wall of sound that would resound with Teesside pride.

Only trouble was… nobody wanted to be in it!

Undeterred, Mike resorted to an age old tactic – that of offering free beer for the night to any man who would come and sing. A small group of men arrived and within 3 weeks, Mike had assembled a motley crew of 20 reticent singers. A couple of months later, the lads stumbled through a 20 minute set in Dormanstown – a triumphant gig enjoyed by around 12 people and a passing ferret.

The choir’s second and final performance actually took place at Saltburn Community Theatre supporting Cajun maestro Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys. The choir’s rousing farewell was met with rapturous applause which led to a delegation of men approaching Mike. They declared that whilst admittedly all of the lads had only joined because of the lure of beer, they had now ‘become a choir’ and they wanted to keep singing. Taking their name from the song they had paid Joe Hammill to pen and accepting they would now have to buy their own beer, Infant Hercules : A Choir for Men was born.

Ten years later, the choir has a regular membership of 50 – 60 men who meet to sing in a pub in Stockton. They have performed in theatres, venues, festivals, schools, social clubs, bridges and prisons across the North of England, raising thousands of pounds for charities and highlighting issues related to men’s mental and physical health. They sing because they can – and mime loudly if they can’t.

Join Mike and the lads as they look back with stories, song and singalong moments on 10 years of approximate harmonies and their recent efforts to encourage men to talk about cancer – The Cleveland Way.