I am in paradise…

Danny Horn, Oliver Hoare, Damien Walsh and Tom Whitelock in Sunny Afternoon
Photo credit: Kevin Cummins

I’ve never really needed much of an excuse to gush over my Sunnies… So this time I suppose it’s a combination of reaching 30 visits to see the current cast, and it being near Valentine’s Day. My own love letter to the show!

It did take me a while to ‘get over’ the original cast and fall head over heels for this lot (tested again with the SeeAbility reunion concert in January). Luckily, I think, both casts are sufficiently different for me to be able to say that I love them equally. That’s the most you’re going to get, I’m afraid! That’s more than I thought I’d be able to admit to at the height of Sunny 2015 – so this lot are clearly doing something right.

Harriet Bunton
Photo credit: @dannyhorn89

My 186th show (30th with this lot – both numbers are ridiculous) ended up being one of the best shows I’ve been to. And at almost 200 shows… I really don’t say that lightly. Honesty is always my policy (flattery is a temporary thing & knows nothing of loyalty); only very rarely have I felt my face hurt so much from grinning, but also in the same show get moved to a lot of tears. Everything seemed to be in alignment that night – and my Sunny Oracle powers also got involved, as I predicted a mid-show takeover before the show and then during the interval… So my favourite understudy (I love you all, Team B), Nick, was back behind the drums for the second act!

It was probably a good thing that I sat in row F, as my grin was so wide it might’ve completely blinded people… And it had that much of an effect on me that even a massive train delay & a headache didn’t take the smile off my face.

But this post isn’t just about that one show, amazing as it was. Definitely my favourite so far with this lot, and it will be up there for some time to come!

Gabriel Vick
Photo credit: @sunnyafternoonthemusical

I’m so happy to see them all so embedded in their roles now, and playing around a bit more. Gabriel & Charlie always look like they’re up to some kind of mischief, Chris is hilarious as Larry (particularly early on) and puts on a wonderfully exaggerated American accent to be the ‘Sunny Afternoon’ producer. Harriet always cracks me up as the wedding crasher, and attempting to powder Ray’s face to within an inch of its life when the band are preparing for an American TV performance. And I continue to be in awe of Oliver’s ‘bubbly’ spraying skills – seriously, this is a talent that needs to go on his resumé! We’ve identified the real danger zones, but if he knows you’re there he will even reach you in the far reaches of row F (right in the face, I kid you not).

I’ve been thrilled to finally see a bit more promotion of this lot cropping up recently. It really feels like it’s been a long time coming. Tom, our current Pete, had a really lovely interview with his hometown’s local paper. It was brilliant to see something focused on someone other than a Davies brother, for once. And a great insight into Tom’s work.

Danny & Oliver
Danny Horn and Oliver Hoare
Photo credit: @sunnyafternoonthemusical

Our leading men both graced the radio waves – Danny on BBC Radio London, and Oliver on BBC Radio Wales. We are lucky enough to get to chat with the guys after shows, but we obviously don’t interview them (although…) so it’s nice to get to hear about some other behind the scenes sort of stuff, and anything else they’ve got going on. Thanks to Oliver’s interview, I finally got round to listening to his band’s music (his description of the genre really intrigued me!) – and I’ve had it on repeat ever since. Seriously, Freddie and the Hoares are that good, so you should have a listen too! A full-length album is on the way, in between Sunny and sleeping, I guess. In the meantime you can buy their EP, ‘Robin on a Pig’s Back’, from Amazon or iTunes.

Danny’s also got music to share with the world, as teased out in this recent interview. He’s used a bit of his free time to get another couple of songs (‘In This Life Or Another‘ and ‘Acorn‘) up for our delectation. I’ve been off work with a bit of a rubbishy cold, so getting to hear these definitely perked me up a bit.

Danny & Oliver 2
Danny Horn and Oliver Hoare
Photo credit: @dannyhorn89

I think I should also take this opportunity to promote another Sunny’s project outside of the show. Gabriel Vick (Wace) is the co-writer of forthcoming musical Miss Atomic Bomb! Thanks to its casting (notably Catherine Tate in the lead role) you may have got wind of it, but if not… You have now! Gabriel’s a wonderfully funny & talented man, so I’m filled with confidence about this show. I am also full of admiration that he’s managed to co-create it whilst rehearsing for, and now performing in, Sunny – a true show of hard work & dedication, right there. Anyway, it’s at St James Theatre (a lovely modern space round the corner from Victoria) and rather reasonably priced. So you must all promise to go, alright?

Miss Atomic Bomb
Image source: St James Theatre website

So our lovely Sunny bunch is slowly being pushed out there… I have a mooted challenge week coming up in March – my theme being a belated ‘getting to know you’ across the whole week, to fill any remaining gaps in our knowledge! What we really need now is a group performance though, to show how fantastic the whole lot of them are together. As much as the show does sell itself, that is only to a certain extent – and I couldn’t bear to be parted from this bunch prematurely. Also we’re all just greedy for whatever we can get from them! Heading over to BBC Broadcasting House for Sunny’s section of Dermot’s Day of Dance was a real highlight of last year – and if definitely confirmed to the original cast that they were stuck with me! Though this lot probably had a hunch about this before they even started…

And this love letter, of sorts, just proves that point one last time. ❤

Oliver Hoare in Sunny Afternoon
Photo credit: Kevin Cummins

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