So this is it: the beginning of #SunnyChallenge! I must say I’m very glad of the Easter bank holiday right now…
Our first challenge was to see how many of the #KinksAroundLondon locations we could find. Hopefully you’ve been following our progress throughout the day on Twitter! With some meticulous planning, we managed to check off all but one of the locations on the list! I think my favourite of all the locations was the Clissold Arms (very early on in our day). We ended up going inside and checking out the famous ‘Kinks room’, as well as getting to chat to George for a bit. It was really interesting to learn how the place has become a hub for Kinks fans from all over the world – especially considering there was no Kinks room before he took over! We also signed the Kinks Guest Book…
I was very excited to see an Autumn Almanac record hung up on the wall, as this is pretty much my favourite Kinks song (as hard as it is to pick just one). Where else did we go? Amongst other locations, we took in Hornsey Town Hall, Carnaby Street, Waterloo Station and the Camden Head. The latter was where Mick Avory first auditioned for The Kinks, so I obviously couldn’t resist the urge to pull my best Mick face! By the way, we’re still looking for your Waterloo Sunsets; keep tweeting them throughout the week, including the #SunnyChallenge hashtag.
While we were out & about we also took in some extra Kinks locations in & around London: a block of flats where Pete Quaife used to live, the Davies family home, a couple of Ray & Rasa’s old houses, Pete Quaife’s family home and the site of an old recording studio on Denmark Street.
And so onto the show! Given that it was day 1 of our challenge, we felt it was appropriate to indulge in a pre-show cocktail in the beautiful Moonlight Bar of the Harold Pinter Theatre. I thoroughly recommend the Garden Tonic – very refreshing! This time I was in a seat that holds great sentimental value to me: stalls B9. (I sat here on my 50th trip; a very exciting & emotional night.) It was also the first performance with the new cast members (Jason Baughan as Kassner & Jo Servi as Piven), which was something to look forward to – having heard glowing reports from rehearsals. They didn’t disappoint! It was interesting to see two very different takes on characters I’ve got to know over the past few months – in particular when Ray serves Eddie his writ, I was simply blown away. Baughan’s Kassner has a real intensity and anger just waiting to escape. It was lovely to see the whole of the principal (& super hard-working) cast on show for the first night of our challenge. It’s only Monday, but that didn’t stop everyone from being on top of their game! I know it sounds ridiculous from someone who’s just seen a show for the 63rd time, but I really can’t wait to be back for day 2. Before Sunny Afternoon came along, I never really considered serial show viewing a particularly healthy or interesting thing to do, but now I couldn’t see my life any other way. I mean, you’d buy your favourite film on DVD and watch that over & over – the only difference with a show is that you do have to pay a bit more for repeat viewings! But… You then get a live performance, with little variations each time. And when the performances are as good as those in Sunny Afternoon, it’s little wonder I keep going back for more!
Quote of the night: “What will they say in the golf club?!”
Song of the night: Denmark Street – I walk down this road a lot, but it seemed more pertinent as part of #KinksAroundLondon.
Scene of the night: Cardiff. I always find it hilarious, but Ned & Adam were on particularly good form this time – both Jess & I were in stitches by the time the curtain came down at half time…
#drumsolo view rating: 4/5 (helped by the people at the table in front of us moving during the interval!)
And talking of the drum solo… Today Adam Sopp features in ‘Stage Door Daily’!
Favourite Mick quote: “Dave’s gone to the dark side..!”
Adam plays the part of Mick with real deadpan humour – and he definitely has been blessed with some of the best one-liners in the show. He may not be the focal point of many scenes (with the main exception being the awe-inspiring drum solo – my favourite part of the show, in case you hadn’t worked it out!) but he’s always busy in the background. I’m a particular fan of his many & varied facial expressions! But it’s not just about the silly stuff. He takes one of the five parts in the hauntingly beautiful rendition of ‘Days’ (so emotional it has been known to reduce grown men to tears). Having spent a lot of time down near the stage, I’ve been able to hear his vocal during this and ‘A Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy’ a fair bit – he does have a fantastic voice, so it’s a shame we don’t get to hear a bit more of it!