This summer will also see the 50th anniversary of the release of The Kinks’ hit single Sunny Afternoon, which was released on 3 June 1966 and reached Number One on 7 July 1966 – just as England were winning the football World Cup.
The critically-acclaimed new musical tells the story of the early life of Ray Davies and the rise to stardom of The Kinks. It has established itself as a firm favourite with audiences and critics alike since it opened at the Harold Pinter Theatre in October 2014, and it begins a UK tour at the Opera House, Manchester, on 19 August 2016.
Ray Davies said: "I am delighted that Sunny Afternoon is extending in the West End and starting the national tour, playing many of the same venues The Kinks played on the road. Every time I visit the West End show I see people discovering it for the first time with the performances going from strength to strength.”
Danny Horn (Doctor Who; The Dead Dogs) plays Ray Davies, with Oliver Hoare (Antony and Cleopatra, Chichester) as Dave Davies, Tom Whitelock (Times Square Angel, Union) as bassist Pete Quaife and Damien Walsh (Dreamboats and Petticoats) as drummer Mick Avory. At certain performances, the role of Ray Davies will be played by Ryan O’Donnell (Romeo and Juliet, RSC; Quadrophenia).
Full cast: Jason Baughan, Niamh Bracken, Christopher Brandon, Harriet Bunton, Alice Cardy, Oliver Hoare, Danny Horn, Gillian Kirkpatrick, Megan Leigh Mason, Jay Marsh, Ryan O’Donnell, Stephen Pallister, Charlie Tighe, Gabriel Vick, Damien Walsh and Tom Whitelock. Understudies: Alice Cardy, Lia Given, Lloyd Gorman, Vicki Manser, Kay Milbourne, Nick Sayce, Robert Took, Alex Tosh, Robbie White.
Sunny Afternoon was the best performing show at the 2015 Olivier Awards, winning four awards. The production won Best New Musical, Ray Davies won for Outstanding Achievement in Music, John Dagleish won Best Actor in a Musical and George Maguire won Best Supporting Actor in a Musical.
Fifty years ago this year, The Kinks were sitting at Number One in the UK charts with their single ‘Sunny Afternoon’. The band’s popularity has not faded since the 1960s, with crowds of all ages filling the Harold Pinter Theatre night after night.
Featuring some of The Kinks’ best-loved songs, including You Really Got Me, Waterloo Sunset and Lola, Sunny Afternoon shows the music of The Kinks is still as popular as ever, more than 50 years since the band’s rise to fame.
Following a sold-out run at Hampstead Theatre, this world premiere production, with music and lyrics by Ray Davies, new book by Joe Penhall, original story by Ray Davies, direction by Edward Hall, design by Miriam Buether and choreography by Adam Cooper, opened at the Harold Pinter theatre on 28 October 2014. Lighting is by Rick Fisher, sound by Matt McKenzie and the Musical Supervisor and Musical Director is Elliott Ware.
Sonia Friedman Productions commissioned Joe Penhall in 2011 to write the book based on Ray Davies’s original story. The company developed the production over the next four years, assembling the creative team and cast that presented Sunny Afternoon in 2014 at Hampstead Theatre under the direction of Edward Hall, and now at the Harold Pinter Theatre.
Ray Davies is an influential and prolific rock musician and was co-founder and lead singer and songwriter for rock band The Kinks, and later a solo artist. He has an outstanding catalogue of hits from the earliest 1960s to the present day with estimated record sales in excess of 50 million. He has also acted, directed and produced shows for theatre and television.
Joe Penhall is an award winning playwright and screenwriter. Plays include Some Voices (Royal Court), Blue/Orange (National Theatre and West End), winner of Best New Play at the Evening Standard Awards, Olivier Awards and at the Critics Circle, and Dumb Show, Haunted Child and Birthday (all Royal Court). Screenplays include Enduring Love and The Road.
As Artistic Director of Hampstead Theatre, Edward Hall’s productions include Wonderland, Sunny Afternoon, Raving, Chariots of Fire, No Naughty Bits, Loyalty and Enlightenment. As Artistic Director of Propeller, his work has toured worldwide, played the West End and Broadway and has won numerous awards both in the UK and overseas. Other theatre work includes A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (National Theatre), Edmond with Kenneth Branagh (National Theatre), Macbeth with Sean Bean (Albery), The Constant Wife (Apollo), Julius Caesar (RSC), Henry V (RSC) and The Deep Blue Sea (Vaudeville). Television work includes Downton Abbey, Spooks and Kingdom. Edward is an Associate of the National Theatre and the Old Vic.
Sunny Afternoon at the Harold Pinter Theatre is now booking until 29 October 2016.