I was lucky to see the The Multi-Award Winning musical Sunny Afternoon, on it's opening night. It features music made famous by a 60's band The Kinks.
From my 4th row in the stalls I had a great view of the clever "cat walk" which enabled the performers to literally walk out into the audience, allowing us to get a close look at their amazing costumes, all in the 60's fashion. The set itself was made up of row after row of large wooden speakers. It remained on the stage throughout the show, which took us on a journey through the many stages of the Kinks' career as a band.
The band first met as spotty teens, and these were the guys who met scrupulous talent scouts that offered them their first contract, which they happily, if not naively, signed. The audience goes on a lifelong journey the guys go through of meeting screaming fans, falling in love, having a child, inevitable stress-induced conflicts and sometimes even violence and tears. The story is conveyed as a vibrant explosion of fantastic music, inspired choreogrophy and a brilliantly directed concept: all actors played several different roles, which was staged so seamlessly, considering the costume changes that were required!
It was probably just like sitting in the front row on a concert of the original band! Every track was recreated with such precision and dedication, we were all blown away. It includes a few tracks that I didn't know the Kinks wrote, i.e. I Go To Sleep, which became a hit for Chrissy Hynde's in the 80's. The performers were rewarded with one of the longest and loudest standing ovations I have ever witnessed, and it was well earned.
Final verdict: As someone born in 1964 I grew up with disco and didn't know what to expect, but am now an avid Kinks fan. I hope you get a chance to see it, it will totally send you back in time to the 60's!
Review written by: Wayne Chester
Editor: Anastasia Roitenberg