So I decided I should apply to be on the 2016 Olivier Awards public panel… Well, why not? I’ve not heard anything back though, so am fairly certain I haven’t been accepted. A shame, but life goes on! As part of the application I had to write a 150-200 word review about a show I’d seen in 2014 – can you guess which one I chose? No? Well, here it is anyway…
“If you’re not crying you’re probably deaf… Here, stick that on the poster!”
That quote sums up my experience of smash hit musical Sunny Afternoon, which ingeniously celebrates The Kinks’ early history in just under three hours. Now, some may label it a ‘jukebox’ musical; technically speaking, I suppose it is, but I think it’s more than that.
The transitions from scene to scene and between dialogue and song are utterly seamless – so much so that you almost don’t notice it’s happening! The script is tight and funny, effortlessly delivered by a multi-talented cast. Their commitment to the show is obvious – recently, one lead actor continued performing with a hernia, and another is carrying on acting and playing guitar despite a fractured elbow.
My favourite song is probably ‘Dedicated Follower of Fashion’, for its combination of social commentary and sheer entertainment value – but followed closely by a gut-wrenchingly emotional rendition of ‘A Long Way From Home’ by the Davies brothers.
Ray Davies has subconsciously been writing this musical throughout his entire 50-year pop career. Judging by the packed houses and reactions from cast and audience alike, Sunny Afternoon could be set to run for just as long!