REVIEW: Sunny Afternoon, Theatre Royal Norwich

Sunny Afternoon
Sunny Afternoon
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Sunny Afternoon,

Theatre Royal Norwich

This new, award-winning musical tells of the rise to stardom of the Kinks, a quintessential English band, in the 1960s. From Muswell Hill in London, they were part of the British pop movement who stormed to success both here and in America. Singer songwriter Ray Davies was the lynchpin with his rowdier brother Dave (the rave) on lead guitar, and boy did they create some hits! Expect to hear sing-along numbers like Waterloo Sunset, Dead End Street, Dedicated Follower of Fashion and You Really Got Me.

This musical, basically put together by Ray himself, charts their early days which are almost a cliche of what a group goes through - the internal rows, the dodgy management, the girls, the drink and more.

Ray, beautifully played by Ryan O’Donnell, is something of a tortured soul – loving his music but not the fame, and we certainly feel his struggles as he uses his music to convey his fears and his joys about life.

Dave is the fun guy – you’ll see him swinging from a chandelier in a frock – and Mark Newnham captures his free spirit, as well as producing a mean guitar riff.

I enjoyed Lisa’s Wright portrayal of Ray’s wife, Rasa, very much and their rendition of I Go To Sleep was a highlight, but all the cast work hard to convey the heady atmosphere of the swinging 60s where anything was possible.

Look out for the Lola finale as you’ll be joining in!

The show continues until Saturday, visit

Sarah Hardy