Sunny Afternoon

September 22, 2016 by Claire Cosgrove

Sunny Afternoon Review

This West End hit musical has already won the 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Musical and a whole host of fantastic reviews so I wasn’t in the least bit surprised to see a packed out audience at The Cliffs on Tuesday night.

Sunny Afternoon tells the story of how one of Britain’s greatest bands, The Kinks, rose to stardom in the 1960s. My mum seemed the obvious choice to accompany me as she just 20 years old when the band was first formed. “Debauched” was the adjective she settled upon when describing the band. Their music? “Oh, fabulous”. This train of thought seemed to sum up the The Kinks pretty well.

The story follows two brothers, Ray and Dave Davies, working class lads from Muswell Hill, who formed one of the defining bands of the 60s.
Ryan O’Donnell plays Ray Davies, brilliantly portraying his determination and vulnerability and showing us that top 10 hits doesn’t necessarily bring you happiness. Mark Newnham brings a comic touch to ‘Dave the Rave’, living the true rock ‘n roll lifestyle, despite the consequences.

Central to the whole show is the iconic music that weaves the story together; You Really Got Me, Waterloo Sunset, Dedicated Follower of Fashion, All Day and All of the Night, Lola, Sunny Afternoon and many more. The electrifying sound reverberated around the auditorium and brought me out in goose bumps, transported into the adrenaline rush of a rock concert. Having said that, a touching a-capella rendition of ‘Days’ was a real highlight of the show, for me. Just beautiful.

These ensemble actors could not have been easy to find. Musicians, actors and fantastic singers, in equal measure, were all rather awe-inspiring.

Even after a nearly 3 hour running time (!), I still went home to google them relentlessly, utterly intrigued by their life story.

I loved it, the audience loved it - highly recommended and on at The Cliffs until 24th September.