REVIEW: Sunny Afternoon, York Grand Opera House

At nearly three hours long, it was testament to the storytelling, and sensational songs of Sunny Afternoon that time just flew by; we were all up on our feet clamouring for more at the finale – the joint was jumping!

Directed by Edward Hall, with the story, music and lyrics by former Kinks frontman Ray Davies, and scripted by Joe Penhall, the narrative of the musical was told from a very personal perspective, as we in the audience saw his struggles to make the band a success. This was one of many strengths of the production; we got to care about the characters, particularly the four members of the Kinks, brothers Ray, Ryan O’Donnell, and Dave Davies, Mark Newnham, and school friends, Pete Quaife, Garmon Rhys, and Mick Avory, Andrew Gallo.

We followed their journey from 1964 when the band was founded in Muswell Hill, through conflicts and fights, touring, family tensions, pressure from music executives, and taggering from one crisis to another; you felt so sorry for them at times, particularly with all their hassle in America.

Dave summed the situation up when even he “Dave the Rave,” confessed to his brother Ray that he felt “like an old man” at the grand old age of 23.

Everything about this show oozed quality, from the outstanding cast, all of whom proved to be excellent musicians too, sensational songs such as All Day and All of the Night, Waterloo Sunset, and the title song, Sunny Afternoon; to the energetic choreography, Adam Cooper, and impressive set design by Miriam Buether.

It is on at the Grand Opera House in York on Thursday February 23, Friday February 24 and Saturday February 25 at 7.30pm, plus a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm

Tickets: 0844 871 3024