Sunny Afternoon at the Harold Pinter TheatreCultureTheatre
Winner of four Oliver Awards, including Best New Musical, Sunny Afternoon presents the tumultuous tale of one of the most influential British bands, the Kinks, formed in Muswell Hill, London, by brothers Ray and Dave Davies.
The show had to be extended due to popular demand and it isn’t difficult to see why. Playwright Joe Penhall and director Edward Hall have created a sensational production, transporting the audience back in time to the swinging 60s – for some, a walk down memory lane, and for those too young to have experienced the era, a tantalising insight into its rock’n’roll music scene.
Within minutes, the audience are injected with the spirit of rebellion, the speakers blaring raw and unrefined electric guitar riffs that feel like they are set to revive the world from a lacklustre existence. Featuring all of the great hits written and composed by Ray Davies, including You Really Got Me, Waterloo Sunset and A Well Respected Man, the highs and lows of their journey through the music industry are unravelled, with scenes of love and hate, the limitations and implications of social status and class consciousness, and the desire for creative freedom in an exploitative world.
The rapport and energy between Dave (Oliver Hoare) and Ray (Danny Horn) is electrifying. Dave, the carefree non-conformist with the world at his feet, rocks the stage and engages the audience as though it’s a real life Kinks concert, whilst the darker, deeper and incredibly talented Ray, gives us insight in to the troubled goings on of his mind. Both actors deserve a great deal of praise for their faultless method acting and musical ability, and kudos to all of the performers for showcasing their versatility and talent. Damien Walsh, acting as drummer Mick Avory, plays a superb drum solo after the interval and his falsetto in the a capella of Thank You for the Days certainly doesn’t go unnoticed. Likewise, Adam Cooper’s well thought-out and representative dance choreography brings such colour and life to each scene, it is very difficult to sit still.
The show is a thrilling and unmissable theatrical experience, backed by an excellent creative team, that will have the audience up on their feet. A must-see for any music fan.
Sunny Afternoon is on at Harold Pinter Theatre until 25th June 2016. Book your tickets here.
Watch an interview with actor Danny Horn here: