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Sunny Afternoon @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

Published by: Yvonne Delahaye on 28th Sep 2016 | View all blogs by Yvonne Delahaye

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Reaching your teens is a time of great anxiety for everyone, as many changes are taking place in your life and body.  Imagine that on your 13th birthday you're given a guitar by an older sister, who then goes out to a dance and dies from a heart attack?  Such a terrible personal tragedy at that delicate stage of life, must leave an indelible pain in your heart that could never be erased.  This is exactly what happened to Ray Davies, but he turned this personal heartbreak into a very successful career spanning many decades, as he wrote songs from the heart.  Unable to express himself because of a terrible stutter, Ray turned to writing and his lyrics still remain relevant 50 years on.

Sunny Afternoon tells the story of Ray and his brother Dave’s rise to success in the 1960s, as The Kinks exploded onto the scene with a raw, energetic new sound that rocked the nation.  The show opened at The Hampstead Theatre to critical acclaim, before transferring to The Harold Pinter Theatre in October 2014.  In April 2015, Davis won an Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Achievement for the show, which also won Best Actor in a Musical for John Dagleish, Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for George Magquire and Best New Musical.

Ray Davies continues to be very instrumental in the production of the show, including the casting and development of the roles.  This tour features Ryan O’Donnell as Ray Davies and he has a superb range, which can belt out the rockier numbers You Really Got Me and All Day and All of the Night, but also portray the depth of emotion in I Go to Sleep.  It’s a very sensitive performance, that gives a unique insight into the real man behind the music.    Mark Newnham is also outstanding as the younger brother Dave Davies and the rest of the cast are also all very talented musician/actors.

I didn’t know much about The Kinks before seeing the show, so was very surprised to hear two lovely ballads, Stop Your Sobbing and I Go to Sleep, as I knew they were both big hits for The Pretenders in the 1980s.  Ray had a relationship with lead singer of that group, Chrissie Hynde and they had a daughter together, so that’s where the connection comes in.

The story of how The Kinks became another band that made up ‘The British Invasion’ of The States in the 60s, was very interesting.  They also managed to get themselves thrown out after disputes about non-payment of union fees!  It’s a great story and the theatre was packed to the rafters with fans, old and new, who loved the songs and whooped and applauded with a standing ovation.  My top tip though if you have sensitive hearing is to take a pair of ear plugs, as it is very loud!  Also at nearly 3 hours with the interval the show is very long, but you won’t be disappointed when you hear all their old hits being played live.

For further tour details go to:
www.sunnyafternoon.com

Reviewed by:
Yvonne Delahaye
26.9.16
@yvonnedelahaye

Comments

1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 1 year ago
    Thanks, Yvonne. Sounds very entertaining.
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