Review: 'Sunny Afternoon' In Wimbledon

Musical tells the rise to stardom of The Kinks

Don't worry if you weren't around when The Kinks came to fame in the 1960s, nor if they weren't quite "your cup of tea" - you won't fail to enjoy 'Sunny Afternoon' at New Wimbledon Theatre.

The multi-award winning hit West End musical tells the story of the early life of Ray Davies and the rise to stardom of The Kinks.

Featuring some of The Kinks’ best-loved songs, including You Really Got Me, Waterloo Sunset and Lola, the show stars Ryan O’Donnell as ‘Ray Davies’, with Mark Newnham as ‘Dave Davies’, Garmon Rhys as bassist ‘Pete Quaife’ and Andrew Gallo as drummer ‘Mick Avory’.

The Kinks exploded onto the '60s music scene with an energetic new sound that rocked a nation. This production certainly captures that raw emotion as the group set off on their roller coaster career.

Following a sell-out run at Hampstead Theatre, Sunny Afternoon opened to critical acclaim at the Harold Pinter Theatre in the West End in October 2014 and had its final London performance two years later.

It's only in Wimbledon until Saturday (April 1) and, if you can get there, it's a real treat to see performers accomplished at acting, singing, dancing as well as playing a range of instruments. Ray Davies himself was amongst the Wimbledon audience enjoying the show on Tuesday (March 28).

The show isn't just about catchy music though, as it tells the emotional tale of a band divided and re-united over the years. O'Donnell and Newnham, as the Davies brothers, will tug at your heartstrings. Garmon Rhys and Andrew Gallo, as the other half of the band, also give stand-out performances.

There's a big and enthusiastic cast, accompanied by a terrific orchestra, so there's never a dull moment as the band's story is told. There was a standing ovation at the end - mind you, most of the audience were already on their feet dancing!

Sunny Afternoon runs at New Wimbledon Theatre until Saturday (April 1). More ticket details on this link.

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By Sue Choularton

March 29, 2017

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Sunny Afternoon