Sunny Afternoon review: The story of the Kinks from grass roots to the pinnacle of their career and beyond..
Sunny Afternoon review, Katey Thompson.
Sunny Afternoon, the musical, is the Kinks’ journey from their discovery to the highs that the pop star life brings. The musical is based on the story of Ray and Dave Davies, their music, and how a cockney band became pop idols. It’s a brilliant tribute to the band who got their name from America.
Ryan O’Donell‘s portrayal of Ray Davies was very good as the only way Ray could articulate himself was through his lyrics which conveyed the angst he felt. A show stopping drumming solo of Andrew Gallo who was portraying Mick Avory was excellent to see. The turbulent relationship Mick had with the younger brother Dave Davies was manifested throughout the show, and Mark Newnham was a brilliant guitarist and showed the flamboyant Dave Davies off brilliantly. Pete Quaife was the shyer one, the loner of the group and his isolations was skilfully displayed by Garmon Rhys.
The talent of the four musicians was fabulous and the musical slowly warmed up throughout the first half, which at times did not run as smoothly as expected. However, it was definitely worth returning for the second half of the show as the music pace picked up and the cast seemed to have become more cohesive as a group. There were many songs that I recognised, but had not realised were performed by the Kinks.
The songs have been woven together to tell a story that worked but did not always flow easily. The costumes were a good illusory nod to the sixties and the set was quite simple and easily moved from recording studio, to home to stage. The audience were not only watching the Kinks musical they were also watching the live performances of the band as they toured the UK and America.
The musical finished on a high with the audience dancing to the big hits of ’Lola’ and ‘Waterloo Sunset’ which was an appropriate finale as they were transported to paradise as they looked in on the world as seen through the eyes of the Kinks.
If you are a fan of the Kinks then this is a wonderful evening of sixties pop.
Sunny Afternoon review, Katey Thompson, November 2016.
Sunny Afternoon is running at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking until 5th November 2016.