Sunny Afternoon by The Kinks at The Harold Pinter Theatre


We are a bit ambivalent about jukebox musicals at the Ginger Wig & Strolling Man. However, when invited, we approach them with an open mind. Our previous experiences were ABBA’s ‘Mama Mia’ and The Beatles’ ‘Let it Be’. This one was infinitely better than either of those.

What was instantly recognisable was that the band’s lyrics always reflected their own experiences. These were always written by Ray Davies. The whole show played out as a history of the band from their forming, initial success, signing, expulsion from America after a dispute with the unions, band troubles, and their final success at Madison Square Gardens in NYC. This all made a very strong narrative for the show.

Led by the tremendous duo of Ryan O’Donnell and Oliver Hoare as main band member brothers, Ray and Dave Davies, they pumped this show full of energy. They were backed by a tremendous ensemble cast, most of whom played instruments, in an entertaining, interesting and musically splendid picture of the history of The Kinks.

It was great entertainment for fans and non-fans alike – plus a great education in relation to their history if you did not know much about it.

Highlight of the Show – the little moments of jamming trying to get the perfect sound for songs such as ‘You Really Got Me’ and ‘Waterloo Sunset’. Perfect when they finally came together.

WIGS 4/5


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