Day 3: Wipe my eyes and stop me yawning

Dominic Tighe, Tam Williams, George Maguire, John Dagleish, Ned Derrington and Adam Sopp in Sunny Afternoon. Photograph by Dominic Clemence.
Dominic Tighe, Tam Williams, George Maguire, John Dagleish, Ned Derrington and Adam Sopp in Sunny Afternoon.
Photograph by Dominic Clemence.

I’m still smiling after last night! It was a pretty spectacular evening, for several reasons. The company I had was great, the show was fab and I really enjoyed yesterday’s challenge. Despite the fact that the cast have seen me over 100 times, they’re still generous with their time when I need it – got to love them for that.

And early this afternoon I managed to bag one of the hottest tickets in town: first preview of The Winter’s Tale! The awesome Garrick Theatre released another allocation of stalls tickets, so I just had to go for it. That achievement certainly made me feel much more awake all of a sudden (I hadn’t helped myself by being out at the pub until late & then having to get up to go into work earlier than usual!). So I’ll be seeing Carly in Xanadu’s first preview on Friday 16 October, then John in this the day after. Exciting times!

On this day in Kinks history…

In 1967 The Kinks recorded Autumn Almanac.

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

Favourite Kinks songs

Autumn Almanac just so happens to be one of my favourite Kinks songs! (It really is like I plan these things.) I still remember when I first heard it, aged 9, and promptly took it in to play to my classmates as part of our projects on autumn. They were less convinced – their loss!

So, as I’m still expanding on my knowledge of the band & their work, I thought I’d take you through a few of my other favourites today.

I first heard ‘I Need You’ after watching this video interview last year. Very much in the mould of ‘You Really Got Me’ & ‘All Day And All Of The Night’, it really rocks! I’ve always loved how pioneering The Kinks were; these songs epitomise that entirely.

Obviously it’s not all about Ray! This is kind of an obvious one, but it’s brilliant. It really highlights Dave’s songwriting talents, and gives a glimpse into his feelings at the time.

A seasonal suggestion, to finish off. I played this a lot last year – it’s a great tune and right on the money. I can’t wait to start being able to listen to it again!

Thank you for all of your contributions, including:

Helen's favourite Kinks song

Ksenia also wrote a great series of blog posts earlier this year, which you might want to check out (parts 1, 2 & 3).

The Challenge

Today I caught up with two of Sunny Afternoon’s amazing ‘Team B’ – the lovely Vicki Manser & Kay Milbourne!

Photo credit: Kay Milbourne
Photo credit: Kay Milbourne

What part would you most like to play?

Kay: Madame Rose in Gypsy

Vicki: Carmen in Fame (with lots of fake tan on!)

What is the best prank that has been played on you whilst you’ve been at Sunny Afternoon?

Kay: The team effort that went into covering her entire dressing room in newspaper!

Vicki: Lloyd created a P45 & left it in her dressing room, and also packed all her stuff up in boxes (‘Property of Sunny Afternoon to be returned’)!

What first drew you to Sunny Afternoon?

Both: The music!

Kay: She loves The Kinks, so it was perfect. Has recently bought a guitar and wrote a song for the boys (not one that will be going on Instagram anytime soon!).

Vicki: It’s been great to be able to get more time to practise instruments – she’s even bought a mandolin of her own.

The show

InstagramCapture_3679a17f-5fdf-4a06-a9ce-02af42bd71a7_jpg

I’m getting good at this: another new seat! I’d managed to not eat a lot during the day, so having a pre-show cider at the pub, followed by a cocktail in the Moonlight Bar, was probably not the best idea… It did, however, make me extremely giggly from the start – and I always enjoy those nights! Given that the cast change is constantly at the back of my mind now, it’s nice to have a few nights where I’m less emotional & more in a celebratory mood.

It really was a fantastic show. I love going to an evening show on a two-show day, as it always seems to have that little edge… The band were particularly awesome (You Really Got Me was electric) and everyone was on great form. The audience was a bit patchy – not particularly responsive in the first act, then an idiot heckler at the end of Sunny Afternoon in the second half – but much better than Monday. Once they all actually arrived!

Alice Cardy Photo credit: Sunny Afternoon website
Alice Cardy
Photo credit: Sunny Afternoon website

Today’s Star of the Day is Alice Cardy.

The wonderful Alice is a recent addition to the Sunny team, joining after Amy departed for Kinky Boots at the end of July. And her presence was immediately felt! I was lucky enough to be there for her very first performance and was truly astounded at just how confident she was. Making your first appearance in an award-winning & now established show must be daunting enough – but this is Alice’s first professional acting job! She’s not even finished her training yet. But once again, the Sunny Afternoon casting team have come up trumps; she is definitely one to watch. My favourite of her roles is that of the wedding crasher – she seriously goes for it! You can probably hear her screaming “Raaaaaaaaaaay!” on the other side of London! The character has a real youthful naïvety, as well as petulance when she gets turned down.

Alice will be taking over from Em as Peggy/dance captain on 5 October. I’ll be fascinated to see her in this new role, but I’m certain it’s made for her!

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