Life after Sunny Afternoon… Part 2

The Lorax company in rehearsal
Photo credit: Manuel Harlan

You may have read my post a couple of months ago about how our original cast are getting on in their post-Sunny lives – well, I now have more to share with you!

On Friday 4 December, the next show in Matthew Warchus’ debut season at The Old Vic had its first preview: The Lorax. This alternative family offering for the festive season features none other than former Sunny understudy Silas Wyatt-Barke! If I’m honest, I probably wouldn’t have considered going had I not had the incentive of seeing a familiar face – and I would have really missed out. It really is a glorious show, and a wonderful way to introduce children to the theatre. I’d pretty much decided by the interval that I wanted to go again! As it’s still in previews I’m sticking to the ‘no reviews’ etiquette, so as I’m desperate to write about it I’ll just have to go back. That’s a shame isn’t it?

The Lorax company in rehearsal
Photo credit: Manuel Harlan

It is a very different show for Silas in various ways. Firstly, he gets to perform every night! Much of the time he’s playing one instrument or another – it’s so great to see what else he can do. Most of the music has a kind of folksy feel to it, however there is a variety of different genres squeezed in along the way.

Silas also gets quite a bit of time onstage, which he seems to be enjoying, despite some manic costume changes going on backstage! (Watch out for him with a hoover in the second act…) As sad as we all were to lose him from Sunny Afternoon’s ‘Team B’, seeing him clearly having a great time on the stage and then hearing him talk so enthusiastically about the whole thing afterwards definitely makes up for that. Philip Bird (former Mr Davies) said to me once that he could sense something special about Silas when he saw him working on Sunny – and this new show backs that assertion up completely. I really can’t wait to see where his career takes him.

I’ve now acquired a ticket for the afternoon press performance, so you’ll be hearing more about The Lorax in due course!

As yet we’ve not had any more news about new roles for our original band (I promise, as soon as there’s something official it will be shared with you!), however there is some exciting news about an evening in January! The boys are reuniting as a band for one last hurrah, all in aid of SeeAbility. This is a charity based in Surrey that is there to help people with sight loss and multiple disabilities. In their words…

“We believe that everyone has ability. We teach and empower people to develop and maintain their skills to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives.”

If you take even the briefest look at their website, you will see that they do remarkable and important work, but it all needs to be paid for somehow. George, John, Adam and Ned have generously decided to give up their own time to help raise some funds for this wonderful charity, so please come along and support them if you can. It promises to be a brilliant night, full of Kinks classics – so head to the ATG website and get your tickets booked! Yes, it’s a Sunday night, but it will be totally worth the effort. Perfect if you want to see some original Sunny Afternoon cast again – or if you didn’t get the chance to see them before cast change!

I will be there with an Afternooners contingent in the front row – hope to see you all there…

SeeAbility concert at Richmond Theatre
Created by Sandie Smith (photography by Dominic Clemence)

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