Day 1: Round the boutiques of London town

John Dagleish and George Maguire in Sunny Afternoon. Photograph by Kevin Cummins. (2)
John Dagleish and George Maguire in Sunny Afternoon.
Photograph by Kevin Cummins.

It’s that time again: #SunnyChallenge week! As it’s been 5 months since the last one (almost to the day, actually)… I’ve not had the best preparation going into this one, as I was out every night from 27 August-5 September, only resting Sunday night – eventually!

As we come towards the end of this cast’s tenure at the show, sadly old troubles have surfaced again and I was almost dissuaded from going ahead with this week. However, I’m not one to give in lightly, especially when we’re talking about something I truly love. So I’m carrying on regardless! I’m certain it’s the right decision.

I hope you enjoy sharing my week with me! Follow my adventures over on Twitter & Instagram each day – there will be opportunities for you to join in with me should you wish. And maybe I’ll see you at the show?

On this day in Kinks history…

The band spent a lot of their 60s life on tour, and on 7 September:

  • 1964 – Silverblades Ice Rink, Streatham (London)
  • 1965 – Peacock Theatre, Helsinki
  • 1968 – Emerchten, Belgium

Thanks to the Kinks Oracle (Ksenia) for this content.

Meet the Afternooners

The show has garnered many fans (& continues to do so), but my group of friends grew out of a ‘core’ group of four.



First trip to Sunny: 3 May 2014 (Hampstead); 4 October 2014 (West End)

Favourite show you’ve been to: Oh dear… Probably the first West End preview. It wasn’t perfect, but everyone knew there was a long and fab journey ahead. Then it’s definitely my 1st anniversary in May and my birthday in August. I can’t choose one, sorry!

Reason you first saw the show: I’ve been a Kinks fan since I was 12. I’d been following the development of the show from the first workshop, Ray was involved, so it was a given I’d see it at least once, maybe twice.

Number of shows you’ve been to: 47

Favourite scene: The one that leads up to Waterloo Sunset closely followed by Dead End Street.

Favourite song: Sitting in My Hotel

Favourite quote: “It’s not about the words, it’s about the atmosphere. It’s all about the atmosphere. I wanna see it; I wanna feel it. The way things are, really. A feeling of home, London, us. Lost and found – alone, but together. It’s all about us.”

I can neither sing, nor play any instruments, but Sunny Afternoon brought back my dream to learn to play anything, even if it’s just a tambourine.



First trip to Sunny: 8 October 2014

Favourite show you’ve been to: Olivier Nomination night – I dashed up on the train, and the buzz was electric.

Reason you first saw the show: I had been following Katherine Kingsley since seeing her in Singing in the Rain. I met Dominic while waiting for her at the SD in Bath – then at Dirty Rotten Scoundrels SD she told me about Sunny Afternoon and said I should go and see her husband for a change! The rest is history…

Number of shows you’ve been to: 37

Favourite scene: George on the chandelier – because it’s what took my breath away the first time I saw it.

Favourite song: A Long Way from Home (and the build up to it)

Favourite quote: “You’re 23!”

Always loved the theatre and very happy to go on my own – but when you meet other people who share a passion it becomes even more enjoyable. Since meeting The Afternooners I have learned so much about the theatre in general and will always value the hands of friendship that touched my heart.



First trip to Sunny: 9 October 2014

Favourite show you’ve been to: It’s difficult to choose a favourite but the one that really sticks in my mind, and always will, is the first show after the Olivier Awards. The atmosphere was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. But honestly every show is my favourite.

Reason you first saw the show: I love musicals with a passion, particularly rock musicals, and my other interest is 60s & 70s rock. Although techincally I first went to the show for reasons other than my own interest I knew before I even saw it that this was the one for me, and evidently I was right!

Number of shows you’ve been to: 67

Favourite scene: That’s a tough one but everything that happens in Cardiff is gold and always makes me laugh til I can’t breathe.

Favourite song: This seems to change constantly depending on various factors at the show, but if I had to choose it would be a tie between Dedicated Follower of Fashion and Rock and Roll Fantasy. Both are very beautiful in very different ways.

Favourite quote: “It’s about a vision!”

As well as running the original Sunny Afternoon fan page on both Twitter and Facebook, I’m a passionate theatre blogger posting mainly reviews on my website. In fact the first time I saw Sunny Afternoon was to review it for the #ldntheatrebloggers group! I can’t thank them enough!


Debbie (me!)

First trip to Sunny: 31 October 2014

Favourite show you’ve been to: For a while it was the post-Oliviers show for the celebratory feel, but because my 100th show felt like the cast were performing just for me I think that has to be my favourite. Anything I’d ever told them I loved got thrown in, most notably in the drum solo! And being surprised by my Sunny friends was a dream come true.

Reason you first saw the show: I wanted to see it at Hampstead but by the time the news reached Somerset (it’s seriously slow out there) it had sold out – so I just had to go when it arrived on the West End! I love the 60s, especially the music, plus my parents were coming over to visit. Win win!

Number of shows you’ve been to: 135

Favourite scene: If you count the drum solo as a standalone scene, then clearly it’s that… The series of phone calls at the end of the first act comes a close second!

Favourite song: Dedicated Follower of Fashion for pure all-round entertainment. Hearing Too Much On My Mind was a life-changing event for me & remains a highlight.

Favourite quote: “You look like Ava Gardner on a massive bender!”

My main motivation for moving to London was so I could go to the theatre more… And I think I’ve managed to do that ambition justice! Would you believe that a few years ago I actively detested musicals? So much has changed so quickly, and I’ve definitely learnt a lot about theatre life just from my visits to Sunny Afternoon.

The Challenge

Finding a Kinks inspired outfit – should be fairly straightforward, right? Wrong! Well, in my case anyway. Someone who is still not particularly keen on clothes shopping (especially in London), on a tight budget, and always trying to do too much in the few hours available in the day… My main inspiration to go on came from watching the show, and as the girls mainly wear mini-skirts or mini-dresses… Well. You really don’t want to see me wearing something like that, and I definitely didn’t want to try! My next flash of inspiration was a gaudy blazer (à la Dave). Nope! Everything’s just so brown… Ugh.

So in the end, I ran out of time (& patience!) to find something new. However, that doesn’t mean I just gave in and went to the show in the clothes I wore to work! Oh no. My backup plan was the dress I wore to the Oliviers in April – not particularly 60s-y but you can blame London for that! Though, to be really tenuous, it’s the same colour as Peggy’s dress, and the collar is the same style as the dress the wedding crasher wears… And it was touched by some of the cast in pre-Oliviers hugs, so that’s good enough in my book!


And I topped the whole thing off with a Dave-esque purple feather boa. That’s more like it! Though George wears it much better than I do…


The show


Nice to start the week down near the front of the stalls – in a seat that I don’t think I’ve managed to sit in before!

I was very tired even before it started, despite the amount of caffeine & sugar that I’d consumed throughout the day. This is where I’m glad that the show is so very loud! The audience was pretty subdued (& once again on a bit of an odd delay when it came to laughing at the jokes), but the full principal cast being reunited for the first time in ages (the last time I can put my finger on them all performing together in the show is Saturday 11 April) made it a very good show.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the cast change recently, and that thought popped into my head during the second act… So it ended up being a pretty emotional show, all in all. That long note that John holds in ‘Sitting In My Hotel’ gets me every time!

#drumsolo view rating: 4 – this is thanks to the woman in front of me moving during the interval! Otherwise I think I’d have been lucky to catch glimpses of Adam’s head… And I wouldn’t have missed the fun he was having for the world!

Carly Anderson and John Dagleish in Sunny Afternoon. Photograph by Kevin Cummins.
Carly Anderson and John Dagleish in Sunny Afternoon.
Photograph by Kevin Cummins.

Today’s Star of the Day is Carly Anderson.

For a show which is ostensibly about men, the female cast need to be strong in order to stand out. And Carly definitely falls into that category! As with all the ladies in the show, she plays multiple roles, from a debutante at Wace’s opening gig, to Gwen Davies and an American diner girl. The latter is probably my favourite of all her characters, as she manages to be flirty and bring out the comedy at the same time. She accidentally dropped her little notepad in one show, but utilised that by bending over ever so provocatively to pick it up – I thought John’s eyes were going to pop out of his head!

The real crime is that we don’t get to hear enough (or any, really) of Carly’s talents as a singer. I was lucky enough to catch her in a cabaret evening recently and was truly blown away. She also has the starring role in Southwark Playhouse’s Xanadu, previewing from Friday 16 October, which I’m already booked in to see. It will be amazing to see where her career goes from here, but I have a hunch it will be stellar!


2 thoughts on “Day 1: Round the boutiques of London town

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