Our #TicketTuesday Twitter winner Francesca Mepham went to see The Kinks musical Sunny Afternoon...and loved it! Check out her thoughts on the show.
Wow! Not the ‘that was fantastic’ feeling you get straight after an enjoyable musical theatre show but the type of wow when you wake up the next day still buzzing with excitement after witnessing something very special. This is how I felt after watching the Kinks musical Sunny Afternoon at The Harold Pinter Theatre. The ‘Swinging Sixties’ felt a living breathing force throughout the production that essentially told the story of four ordinary young men with working class roots from Muswell Hill who became The Kinks thus creating the extraordinary with their music.
The driving force of the band was lead vocalist and songwriter Ray Davies (the magnetic John Dagleish) who was portrayed as humble and a real sensitive soul. Dagleish’s gritty voice suits perfectly the effortlessly cool music of The Kinks and their most well known songs especially You Really Got Me and Sunny Afternoon. The contrast between the socially conscience Ray and his brother Dave ‘the rave’ (George Maguire) who embraced the relentless hedonistic lifestyle, had very humorous moments as well as showing a more serious and darker side to the success the band endured, with some poignant moments shared between the two brothers.
A chalk and cheese dynamic between the unassuming members of The Kinks and their very middle class management team in particular Robert Wace ( Dominic Tighe), whose sense of bemusement at the decisions the band would make was very endearing. The sharp and fiery wit of Ray’s wife Rasa (Lillie Flynn) was a real shining performance with great comic timing that ran in parallel to the easy going nature of Dagleish’s Ray.
Songs such as Dedicated Follower of Fashion let the cast poke fun at the 1960’s and especially the achingly hip London with its emphasis on style. Waterloo Sunset informs the audience that the lads of The Kinks in particular Ray Davies were passionate about writing and performing music that reminded them of the real London they knew with its perfect imperfections.
The sheer volume of timeless music by The Kinks showcased in Sunny Afternoon is the whole reason for this outstanding piece of Musical Theatre being produced and as the saying goes‘ it’s all about the music’.
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