Sunny Afternoon - The Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton
Ray Davies, founder member of the Kinks, is not only one of Britain's finest songwriters but also has a tale that is worth telling.
Sunny Afternoon, the Kinks musical, tells that story in a brilliant, fast paced, vibrant show filled with great music superbly performed by a talented cast including Ryan O'Donnell who plays Ray Davies in convincing style.
The Kinks were never just another 60s pop band. There was always something different about them and this is fascinatingly explored in Sunny Afternoon.
Ray's complex relationship with his brother and co-founder of the Kinks, Dave Davies, forms a key part of the story and illustrates the effects that fame can have on a person.
The pitfalls of the music industry and it's management money men also form an important part of the narrative.
Another interesting chapter in the Kinks history is their attempt to make it big in America. Whilst the Beatles persuaded the USA to fall in love with them, the Kinks got blacklisted by the unions and were unable to tour during their glory years.
It wasn't until their star began to wane here in Britain that the Kinks finally got to play the massive American arena and stadium gigs.
The storyline is complemented by a truly wonderful series of songs that come thick and fast throughout the show. It's easy to forget what a magnificent back catalogue the Kinks have and Sunny Afternoon serves as a timely reminder and celebration of their music. All the great iconic hits are included; You Really Got Me, Waterloo Sunset, Lola, and many more.
By the end, an enthusiastic and very appreciative audience were on their feet and singing along to a medley of Kinks classics.
Wolverhampton's magnificent Grand Theatre always puts on great, value for money productions and this show is no exception. Sunny Afternoon is thoroughly entertaining and highly recommended. See it.
Sunny Afternoon runs at the Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton until Saturday, April 22.
Tickets prices start at £21.50 and are available by calling the box office on 01902 429212 or online at grandtheatre.co.uk.