If you love great live music, having a laugh and The Kinks then this West End musical will be right up your street.
I’ll be honest I LOVE a good musical and love to watch one whenever I get the chance. I have seen Wicked on Broadway in New York, the Jersey Boys in Las Vegas, Once in Melbourne and too many to count in London. So when it came to choosing one to watch on a recent visit to the Big Smoke (London) with the other half I’ll admit it was a struggle finding one we had not seen before so much so we even started looking at plays rather than a musical. It wasn’t until my husband came home from work one evening and mentioned that a work colleague had said he really wanted to go and see The Kinks musical ‘Sunny Afternoon’ that we made our mind up – that was the one!
As I am only in my early 30s I wasn’t aware of The Kinks story however aware of some their music, I mean come on as soon as you hear that riff you know it’s ‘You Really Got Me’. Having been used in films – ‘Catch me if you can’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio and also on the small screen – ‘Mad Men’ and ‘The Simpsons’ together with television advertisements you’d know the song even if you didn’t know who sang it.
The musical is currently at the Harold Pinter Theatre, Panton Street, London which in my opinion one of the most intimate theatres I have visited in London. The theatre is located in the heart of the West End just off Leicester Square with loads of restaurants and pubs in the vicinity if you fancy grabbing a bite to eat or a quick drink before hand. We arrived in plenty of time so decided to have a quick pint in the pub opposite Tom Cribb – Shepherd Neame which bills itself as a Theatreland Boozer with boxing theme. I think everyone had the same idea as the place was packed!
Showtime approaching we made our way across the road to the theatre. We grabbed a vodka and coke each (and preordered a couple for the interval as well) and headed to our seats. Please remember that this is central London therefore you will not see any change for four drinks from £25! I fell in love instantly with this theatre! We were in the stalls in row R therefore right in front of the action. The thing I loved most about this theatre was the table and chairs at the front which really added to the ‘gig’ theme. Those lucky people were so close to the actors they could have touched them. My husband did go to the loo at the interval which was upstairs at the back of the Grand Circle therefore he did have a little nosey and reported back that the seats up there are very steep so maybe not great for people with vertigo, maybe a slight exaggeration?
Again having seen a number of musicals before you expect the standard of acting and singing to be of a high level but the guys and gals in this production blew my mind. The actor, John Dalgleish, who played the lead as Ray Davies was fantastic, seriously his voice is unreal. How close the musical story is to the real story I’m not sure but then again I’m sure no-one was there to check it for facts. Everyone in that audience was there for the same reason and that was to be entertained and boy where we? In fact I overheard a lady in the row in front of me say it was the fifth time she had seen it and to be honest I can understand why. From the second the show started to the end where every single person in that theatre was on their feet clapping along it gripped my attention. The fact that I did not know all the songs was irrelevant they all still had me bopping in my seat.
On a number of occasions I have dragged my husband to musicals and made him sit through it simply because I wanted to see it therefore when he said ‘that’s the best musical I have ever seen’ I believe that’s high praise indeed. Needless to say when we returned home he throughly recommended it to his work colleague who had originally wanted to see it and on that recommendation he did.
This show is only booking until October 2015 so if you fancy a Sunny Afternoon (or evening) this is the show for you!