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Sunny Afternoon gets West End going

Published 26 June 2014

After Hampstead Theatre audiences declared it really got them going, Ray Davies’ musical Sunny Afternoon, which features some of his band The Kinks’ most popular hits, will arrive at the Harold Pinter Theatre this autumn for a West End run.

The biographical show, which will play from 4 October with the original principal cast returning to their roles, treats audiences to the compelling story of the hugely successful 1960s group’s rise to success from working class beginnings to worldwide acclaim, set to the many well-known songs that made them so famous.

Directed by Hampstead Theatre’s Artistic Director Edward Hall, Sunny Afternoon was originally conceived by musician Davies, who worked with the acclaimed playwright Joe Penhall to bring the turbulent story to the stage.

Featuring songs including Waterloo Sunset, Lola and You Really Got Me, the show premiered in May to rapturous acclaim, with The Telegraph’s Charles Spencer declaring the show “irresistibly enjoyable” in his five star review.

There was much praise also for the talented quartet who return to take on the all-important roles of the band itself, Lark Rise To Candleford’s John Dagleish, who leads as Ray Davies, musical theatre regular George Maguire, Backbeat’s Adam Sopp and RADA graduate Ned Derrington.

Speaking to The Evening Standard about the transfer, the show’s producer Sonia Friedman called the show “very very special”, explaining it had begun life outside of the glare of the West End in order to give it “the best possible birth, without necessarily facing the commercial pressures of opening a new show in the West End. But I was thrilled with the response.”

Sunny Afternoon will arrive at the Harold Pinter Theatre after a summer of comedy, following Lucy Bailey’s production of The Importance Of Being Earnest which begins its run this weekend.

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