Story added:  7:00am Fri Jan 20, 2017
Shining light on changing times
Tuesday 24th January, 2017 - Theatre Royal, Nottingham
Shining light on changing times
Sunny Afternoon
Sunny Afternoon is at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham, from January 24 to January 28.
Multi-award-winning musical Sunny Afternoon, telling the early life of The Kinks’ Ray Davies and his rise to fame, comes to the Theatre Royal, Nottingham, next week.

It opens on Tuesday and runs until a week on Saturday.

Set against the back-drop of a Britain caught mid-swing between the conservative 1950s and riotous 1960s, the production explores the euphoric highs and agonising lows of one of Britain’s most iconic bands and the irresistible music that influenced generations.

It features some of The Kinks’ best-loved songs, including You Really Got Me, Waterloo Sunset and Lola.

The musical is on a national tour after a successful stint in the West End that saw it win four Olivier Awards, including best new musical and outstanding achievement in music for Ray Davies.

Its music and lyrics are by Ray Davies, who came up with the idea while writing another musical, Come Dancing.

He said: “I found myself thinking about significant times in my life around the time of Sunny Afternoon. So many things were happening to me around that time: overworked, infighting among band members, lawsuits with managers and publishers that nearly gave me a breakdown and the rest.

“I wrote a draft and then came back to it after Come Dancing had been produced.

“I wanted to write about that time in my life when so much was happening to me. British music was starting to conquer the world and England were on the verge of winning the World Cup. I put all these elements together and wrote a short script.

“The Kinks were arguably one of the most dysfunctional and hard-edged bands around before punk. Someone said to me The Kinks were one of the bands the punk bands looked up to.

“It is a coming of age story. It is about sibling rivalry, a changing society, the pitfalls of the music industry, about loss of self, and it is about being on tour with my brother. It is compelling on several levels and, of course, it has got the songs as well.”

'Detachment is good'

Although it is about him, Davies has tried to remain objective about the story.

“Once I had got the initial treatment and outline done, I had to detach myself from it and treat it as a piece of theatre for the stage,” he said.

“Detachment is good. It allows you to look more at the character development and the issues involved and I could concentrate more on the story. It is easier to keep going that way.

“It is quite a compelling story about how I began this journey and the story is important. It needs to be a great story for The Kinks fans but also for those who maybe don’t know much about the band, their origins or music for that matter.”

Davies, who is set to release a new album, Americana, hasn’t ruled out a Kinks reunion.

“I often hear rumours of Kinks reunions but we can’t do that of course because we lost Pete Quaife, one of the originals a few years ago. I miss Pete and I miss that team effort a lot; I’m not sure it’s something we could do without him. But never say never and one never knows.”

The tour stars Ryan O’Donnell as Ray Davies, who appeared in the production at the Harold Pinter Theatre in the West End.

His other theatre credits including Quadrophenia and he was a member of the band Jethro Tull for four years.

Mark Newnham plays Dave Davies, Garmon Rhys is bassist Pete Quaife and Andrew Gallo is drummer Mick Avory.

They are joined by Jayne Ashley, Victoria Anderson, Nathanael Campbell, Marcelo Cervone, Tomm Coles, Deryn Edwards, Sophie Leigh Griffin, Sam Haywood, James Hudson, Richard Hurst, Cleo Jaeger, James Lorcan, Joseph Richardson, Robert Took, Alex Wadham, Libby Watts, Michael Warburton, Lucy Wilkerson and Lisa Wright.
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