Meet Tom Whitelock & Kay Milbourne

Kay and Tom
Vicki Manser, Kay Milbourne, Damien Walsh and Tom Whitelock
Photo credits: @vicki_manser and @tomwhitesocks

So this month at @SunnyAftFans we have been celebrating Tom Whitelock & Kay Milbourne as Cast Member & Understudy of the Month!

Kay, Lloyd & Vicki
Kay Milbourne, Lloyd Gorman and Vicki Manser
Photo credit: @vicki_manser

Kay may ‘only’ cover one role, but she’s made no less of an impact as part of our beloved Team B. The only problem is we don’t get to see her that often! Her Mrs Davies is sweet & loving – and very protective of her sons. As Marsha she is sparky & confident; I especially love the way she says “infancy” in response to Klein’s question of how he’ll get their copyrights back. And the additional “I got his guitar!” just before Sunny Afternoon starts up.

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During Kay’s week as Mrs Davies/Marsha, I tested her out with a few questions…

How do you approach your portrayal of the characters – are you influenced by the principal cast?

Other than following the blocking, she tries to put her own stamp on the character. Hopefully that comes across!

Is this the same as previous understudying?

This is her first understudy job, so it’s hard to directly compare. But as it’s a longer running show there’s more artistic freedom – compared to shows with a limited run.

What’s the best thing about being an understudy?

Definitely the fun backstage! As is probably evident from social media… (Team B are renowned for their pranks.)

What is your favourite line from the show?

“Except for Mick, he just looks like a pervert!”

Pre-Kinks Kinks
Oliver Hoare, Damien Walsh, Tom Whitelock and Danny Horn
Photo credit: @tomwhitesocks

I waxed lyrical about Tom earlier in the month, but I don’t think I can say often enough how impressed I am at how he’s developed his portrayal of Pete. It’s clear from an audience perspective that he is really enjoying this job (especially any parts involving a bass guitar), and now that the show has extended I’m looking forward to seeing where Pete goes next.

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Following Tom’s penultimate show as Cast Member of the Month (how quickly has May gone?) I stopped him for a quick chat…

What is your favourite bassline to play?

Lola! Though he loves the groove of Set Me Free, so that’s probably his second favourite.

What has been your favourite show?

Probably when Mark Hamill & Dave Davies came to watch. There was a great energy in the theatre, and people were trying out Star Wars puns! It was brilliant to meet both of them, and to have a chat with them over drinks – they really are lovely guys. Tom enjoyed getting the chance to talk Star Wars with Mark, and to hear from Dave about his relationship with Pete. Olly also got a lot out of talking to Dave.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in this role?

The length of the run. He’s not been in a show that’s gone on for more than about 3 or 4 months, so finding ways to keep things fresh has been interesting – tough but fun. It can also be difficult to give everything when you’re exhausted, as you don’t want to let the audience down.

What’s your favourite moment in the show?

Straight after Top of the Pops, Tom heads over to Fabio who has a bottle of water waiting for him. He’ll down it, give Fabio a thumbs up, and they’re ready for the next scene!

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The cast and crew of Sunny Afternoon
Photo credit: @sunnyafternoonthemusical

Thank you to Tom for picking up where Chris left off as Cast Member of the Month! As reliable & entertaining as ever, and even got to play his favourite bassline in front of 5,000 people at the Royal Albert Hall this month.

And massive thanks to Kay for being a wonderful Understudy of the Month. We were all thrilled to have a week of her on in the middle of May – a perfect way to mark her status!

Who do you think will be their successors?

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