Sunny Afternoon (musical)

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Sunny Afternoon
Sunny Afternoon Musical.jpg
West End production poster
MusicRay Davies
LyricsRay Davies
BookJoe Penhall
BasisThe formation and career of The Kinks
Premiere1 May 2014 (2014-05-01): Hampstead Theatre
Productions2014 Hampstead Theatre
2014 West End
2016 UK Tour
AwardsLaurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical

Sunny Afternoon is a jukebox musical with music and lyrics by Ray Davies and a book by Joe Penhall. Based on the formation and career of the English rock band The Kinks, the musical was commissioned and produced by Sonia Friedman and made its world premiere in 2014 at the Hampstead Theatre, London, before transferring to the West End's Harold Pinter Theatre. Featuring songs by The Kinks, Sunny Afternoon includes their hits such as "Lola", "Waterloo Sunset", "You Really Got Me" and the musical's title song, "Sunny Afternoon".


On 13 December 2013, producer Sonia Friedman officially confirmed that a musical based around the early life of Ray Davies and the formation of the band The Kinks[1] would receive its world premiere at the Hampstead Theatre in spring 2014.[2] The musical was named after the band's 1966 hit single "Sunny Afternoon,"[3] and features songs from the band's back catalogue.[4] The musical has a book by Joe Penhall[5] and is directed by Edward Hall, with choreography by Adam Cooper, set and costume design by Miriam Buether,[6] lighting design by Rick Fisher, sound design by Matt McKenzie and musical direction by Elliott Ware.

Production history[edit]

Original London production (2014-16)[edit]

The show's premiere production began previews at the Hampstead Theatre in London, on 14 April 2014, with its official opening night on 1 May, booking for a limited run until 24 May 2014.

In late June, it was confirmed that the production would transfer to the West End, beginning previews at the Harold Pinter Theatre on 4 October, with an official opening night on 28 October 2014.[7] Tickets for the transfer went on sale on 30 June. Shortly after beginning previews the show extended booking to January, before quickly announcing another extension to 23 May 2015.[8] On 14 November 2014, the cast appeared on the BBC's Children In Need, closing the show.[9] The musical closed on 29 October 2016.[10]

A typical performance runs two hours and 45 minutes, including one interval.[11]

UK and Ireland tour (2016-17)[edit]

The production embarked on its first UK and Ireland tour opening at the Manchester Opera House in August 2016 ending at the Grand Opera House, Belfast in June 2017.

A second UK and Ireland tour was due to open again at the Manchester Opera House in August 2020, however due to the COVID-19 pandemic was cancelled.


The semi-biographical story is set against the background of political and social change of the 1960s. The musical examines the early years of the Muswell Hill, London-based group The Kinks. After initial failure, the band's lead guitarist Dave Davies experimented and created a distorted power chord sound on the group's third single, "You Really Got Me". The song, written by Dave's older brother Ray, went to No 1 in the UK charts and preceded a string of hits. Woven into the musical are the themes of the Davies brothers' sibling rivalry, management problems, their sister's untimely death, Ray's doomed marriage and their subsequent banning from the United States following a dispute with the musicians' union.


Musical numbers[edit]


On 21 October 2014, four preview tracks from the album, "Dedicated Follower of Fashion", "Dead End Street", "Too Much On My Mind/Tired of Waiting" and the show's title song "Sunny Afternoon" were released via SoundCloud.[12] Recorded at London's Konk Studio's, which was established by The Kinks, the album featuring 29 songs,[13] was released on 27 October via BMG Chrysalis.[14]

Sunny Afternoon
Soundtrack album cast recording by
Released27 October 2014 (2014-10-27)
LabelBMG Chrysalis
1."You Still Want Me"1.49
2."I Gotta Move/You Really Got Me"2.04
3."Just Can't Go to Sleep"1.03
4."Denmark Street"2.08
5."A Well Respected Man"2.32
6."Dead End Street"2.22
7."Dedicated Follower of Fashion"2.29
8."You Really Got Me"2.13
9."(This Time Tomorrow into) Set Me Free"2.57
10."Till the End of the Day"2.01
11."This Strange Effect"1.47
12."Stop Your Sobbing"1.43
13."This Is Where I Belong"1.07
14."Where Have All The Good Times Gone/All Day and All of the Night"3.11
15."This Time Tomorrow"2.12
16."Maximum Consumption"0.58
17."Sitting in My Hotel"3.31
18."I Go to Sleep"2.29
19."I'm Not Like Everybody Else"1.46
20."Too Much on My Mind/Tired of Waiting"2.20
21."The Moneygoround"1.47
22."Sunny Afternoon"3.34
23."A Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy"3.00
25."A Long Way from Home"2.35
26."Waterloo Sunset"3.20
28."All Day and All of the Night/You Really Got Me/Lola"2.37
29."Look a Little on the Sunny Side"1.32

Principal roles and original cast[edit]

Character Hampstead (2014)[15][16] West End (2014) [11] UK and Ireland tour (2016)[17]
Ray Davies John Dagleish Ryan O'Donnell
Dave Davies George Maguire Mark Newnham
Pete Quaife Ned Derrington Garmon Rhys
Mick Avory Adam Sopp Andrew Gallo
Mr Davies/Allen Klein Philip Bird Robert Took
Mrs Davies/Marsha Helen Hobson Elizabeth Hill Deryn Edwards
Larry Page Vince Leigh Richard Hurst
Eddie Kassner Ben Caplan Michael Warburton
Rasa Lillie Flynn Lisa Wright
Gregory Piven Marvin Springer Ashley Campbell Nathanael Campbell
Robert Wace Dominic Tighe Joseph Richardson
Greenville Collins Tam Williams Tomm Coles
Gwen Carly Anderson Victoria Anderson
Peggy Emily Goodenough Libby Watts
Joyce Amy Ross Sophie Leigh-Griffin
Alternate Ray N/A Danny Horn James Hudson
Alternate Dave N/A Oliver Hoare N/A

Awards and nominations[edit]

Original London production[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref
2014 Evening Standard Awards Ned Sherrin Award For Best Musical Nominated [18]
Emerging Talent Award John Dagleish Nominated [19]
2015 Awards Best New Musical Nominated[20] [21]
Best Supporting Actor In A Musical George Maguire Nominated[20] [21]
Laurence Olivier Award Best New Musical Won[22] [23]
Best Actor in a Musical John Dagleish Won[24] [23]
Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical George Maguire Won[24] [23]
Best Sound Design Matt McKenzie Nominated[24] [23]
Outstanding Achievement in Music Ray Davies Won[24] [23]


  1. ^ "'Sunny Afternoon' uses band's hits to tell Ray Davies' life story". Rolling Stone. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  2. ^ "London's Hampstead Theatre to Offer World Premiere of Sunny Afternoon, Early Life Story of Singer-Songwriter Ray Davies". Playbill. 16 December 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  3. ^ "The Kinks: Musical to tell Ray Davies' early life story". BBC News. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Ray Davies musical to premiere at Hampstead Theatre". The Stage. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  5. ^ "Sunny Afternoon musical dazzles critics". BBC News. 2 May 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  6. ^ "Ray Davies musical Sunny Afternoon premieres at Hampstead in May". Whats On Stage. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  7. ^ "Kinks musical Sunny Afternoon transfers to Harold Pinter Theatre". Whats On Stage. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  8. ^ "Kinks musical Sunny Afternoon extends booking". The Stage. 28 October 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  9. ^ "BBC Children In Need 2014 schedule". Metro. 10 November 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  10. ^ Douglas Mayo (16 June 2016). "Sunny Afternoon to close in London". British Theatre.Com. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  11. ^ a b "Sunny Afternoon". Harold Pinter Programme: 20. December 2014.
  12. ^ "Listen to the first tracks released from the Sunny Afternoon official cast recording". Whats On Stage. 21 October 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  13. ^ "Sunny Afternoon extends to May 2015". Whats On Stage. 27 October 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  14. ^ "Cast of SUNNY AFTERNOON Records Album; First Tracks Released". Broadway World. 21 October 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  15. ^ "Sunny Afternoon Cast & Creatives". Hampstead Theatre. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  16. ^ "Cast Announced for World Premiere of Ray Davies Musical Sunny Afternoon at London's Hampstead Theatre". Playbill. 24 February 2014. Archived from the original on 26 July 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  17. ^, Feast Creative |. "Sunny Afternoon: The Hit Musical About The Kinks". Retrieved 2017-04-24.
  18. ^ "Tom Hiddleston among Evening Standard theatre awards nominees". BBC News. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  19. ^ "London Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2014 shortlist announced". Evening Standard Awards. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  20. ^ a b "Winners of the 15th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards". Whats On Stage. 15 February 2015. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  21. ^ a b "Shortlists announced for 15th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards, voting opens". Whats On Stage. 5 December 2014. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  22. ^ "Olivier Awards success for Angela Lansbury and Sunny Afternoon". BBC News. 13 April 2015. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  23. ^ a b c d e "Nominations in full from Wolf Hall to Beautiful". The Independent. 9 March 2015. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  24. ^ a b c d "Olivier Awards 2015: full list of winners". The Telegraph. 12 April 2015. Retrieved 13 April 2015.

External links[edit]