Tuesday October 21st saw the celebration of The Kinks musical Sunny Afternoon’s first birthday and it was every bit as good as I hoped it would be.
The media night was expertly put together with a packed crowd in to see the show written by Joe Penhall with the story and music coming from none other than Ray Davies CBE, who was also in attendance. There were plenty of other famous faces with Rick Buckler, Liam Gallagher, Kevin Rowland, Martin Freeman, Carl Barat, Rhoder Dakar, Liam Howlett, George Newton and Natalie Appleton to name a few.
From the start I would like to offer my sincere gratitude to Pip from The Corner Shop PR, not only for the invite to such a great night but also for making us feel so welcome. Next up the staff at the Harold Pinter Theatre were a credit to the establishment. I really can’t praise everyone highly enough.
The theatre itself is excellent, especially for a show like this. With a capacity at just under 800 spread over four levels and curved round in a horseshoe there was the kind of intimacy you might get seeing a band in a good small venue. The stage extending into the crowd also gave you a feeling of being involved.
We ended up sitting in the centre, front row of the dress circle, where we had an incredible view of what was about to unfold. The show obviously follows the story of The Kinks over 2 and a half hours and at times the atmosphere feels more like being at a gig than being in a theatre.
The cast were a different class and you can see why the show has already won awards. From start to finish you are taken on a journey through some of many great songs penned by Davies over the years. A particular highlight for me was the performance of Waterloo Sunset, I won’t give too much away but it was something pretty special.
Oliver Hoare, Danny Horn, Damien Walsh and Tom Whitelock were excellent as Dave Davies, Ray Davies, Mick Avory and Peter Quaife respectively. Gillian Kirkpatrick and Stephen Pallister were excellent as Mrs and Mr Davies and after racking my brains for hours I finally realised I recognised Gillian Kirkpatrick from the American Psycho musical I caught the last time I was in London which has now made its way across the Atlantic to Broadway.
To be honest I could go through each and every cast member and sing their praises, every one of them was excellent and well worth the trip down from Glasgow specifically to see this. Thanks so much to Harriet Bunton, Christopher Brandon, Niamh Bracken, Jason Baughan, Alice Cardy, Megan Leigh Mason, Jay Marsh, Charlie Tighe, Gabriel Vick and everyone I have inevitibly missed.
I have to admit I find it quite difficult trying to review something like this because if you’ve seen it you will know how good it is and if you haven’t I don’t want to spoil it for you but I could not recommend it any higher. If you are visiting London get yourself along to the Harold Pinter to see Sunny Afternoon, if you don’t go in a Kinks fan you will definitely come out one.
If you want to find out more just head over to sunnyafternoonthemusical.com and I would also ask you to please check out the Pete Quaife Foundation, a charity set up in his honour helping children on dialysis. All the images used in this post were supplied by The Corner Shop PR and were taken by the brilliant Dan Wooler.
With that we will leave you to get your tickets booked for this incredible show.