WORTH A LOOK?: ***
WHERE: Harold Pinter Theatre
WHEN: 26/12, booking to 16/4/16
We weren’t counting but there seemed to be at least 30 Kinks’ songs featured in this jukebox musical including the title track, Waterloo Sunset, Days, You Really Got Me, Lola and All Day and All Of The Night.
The even better news is that the Harold Pinter Theatre also has tables at front and back, with bar service, which adds to the feeling of being in a relatively intimate club and seeing a live performance.
Encouraging the cast to play instruments throughout much of this two-and-a-half hour show, a device we’ve seen used in The Commitments and Once recently, lends credibility to this story of this rise to fame of these ‘Muswell Hill socialists’ although we were much more interested in the death of songwriter Ray Davies’s sister and the effect this had on him rather than the problems with the unions which blighted their American tours.
Hearing band members complain about homesickness as they travel the world doing what they love pursued by a growing army of enthusiastic fans is the cliche that often ruins groups’ follow-up albums yet here it is played out fully. We’re amazed this won 2015’s Olivier for best musical as we can think of at least five better contenders we’ve seen this year (admittedly not within the judging time period).
For us, Sunny Afternoon is a perfectly pleasant evening spent in the company of a fine songbook which would have been more enjoyable with even less emphasis on plot and storytelling.
- Picture by Kevin Cummins via Facebook courtesy Sunny Afternoon. Tickets Sunny Afternoon official site.
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