Friday’s announcement has ensured that London’s West End is set to have a Sunny summer, as hit musical (& my true love) Sunny Afternoon has been extended past June – it is now booking until the end of October! This means it will be resident in the Harold Pinter Theatre for over two years, which is remarkable considering it was only initially scheduled to run there for a couple of months following its transfer from the Hampstead.
Obviously this has made me rather happy. (Understatement of the year?) Not only does it mean I get another five months of the West End show, very nearly reaching my second anniversary, but this amazingly talented cast get as much of a go at the show as the originals did (including the initial Hampstead run). I think it’s fair to say that I wouldn’t have fallen quite so hard for the show if the originals hadn’t been as good as they were – and they really did start something special – so the fact that I’m most definitely back to the levels of Sunny worship that I reached last year speaks volumes about the calibre of the 2015-16 cast.
I am so incredibly proud of everyone involved, both on & offstage, but particularly the boys in the band. Danny, Oliver, Tom & Damien play the people that the show revolves around (two of them taking over from Olivier winners), so obviously they were bound to be the focus of most attention – and if they were utterly daunted & pressurised by all this, you’d never have noticed! Wonderful actors & musicians alike (I doubt you’ll ever stop me from going on about it), and simply a perfect fit for my favourite show.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of both The Kinks’ Sunny Afternoon and England’s 1966 World Cup win (memorably featured in the show), throughout July there are 50 top price tickets available for the amazing price of £19.66!
Talking of the ’66 World Cup… Wembley Arena is hosting a special event on the anniversary day itself, featuring a range of performances with a 1966 theme. The official website has our very own Sunny Afternoon cast pencilled in to perform the title track as part of the celebrations! As yet, we’ve not had any mention from the show’s website or social media (and a matinée performance is still set to go ahead at the time of World Cup ’66: Live), so we’ll be keeping an eye on what happens there…
Recently the current band went up to Manchester to officially launch the upcoming tour (on their day off – they do all work hard!).
They performed four songs from the show, opening with You Really Got Me, closely followed by I Gotta Move, Sunny Afternoon and All Day And All Of The Night. After that there was time for some questions from the floor (bizarrely including someone asking them where Ray was…) and then several rounds of interviews, which have kept cropping up across the internet.
I’m still unsure about how the show will fare on tour. It’s obviously great that more people will now get to see it (and basically have no excuse about not seeing it, as it’s covering the country rather well) – I just have a slight unease about it being put on in theatres that are significantly bigger than the Pinter. One of the reasons why it works so well (for me) is because of the relatively intimate setting. Even sitting up in the balcony you can lose a little something, so I worry how that will affect people sitting upstairs in these bigger venues. Also, there’s casting… Will they go down the route of getting a star name in to sell more tickets? The casting team has done rather well so far, so it should be fine. Hopefully we might know soon! I am more than happy to be proven wrong, as it’s undeniably a great show. And now it’s set to be touring & in the West End simultaneously for a while, I can feel a lot more comfortable about things
Sunny Afternoon is running at the Harold Pinter Theatre and is currently booking until 29 October 2016. Tickets are available online and from the box office. The UK tour starts at the Opera House Manchester on 19 August 2016 and is currently scheduled to end in Bristol on 11 March 2017. Tickets are available online or via individual box offices.