Ray Davies Pens Come Dancing Musical at StratfordDate: 16 July 2008
Come Dancing, the long-planned new musical written by former Kinks singer-songwriter Ray Davies (See The Goss, 19 Jun 2001), will receive its world premiere this autumn at east London’s Theatre Royal Stratford East, where it will have a limited season from 13 September to 25 October 2008, ahead of a possible West End transfer.
According to the theatre’s website, Come Dancing, set in and around the Ilford Palais in the 1950s, “takes us back to a time when Saturday night dancing at the local palais was the magical, not-to-be-missed highlight of every young person’s week”. It promises to be a “memorable night out”.
The new musical takes its title from The Kinks' 1983 song of the same name. However, Come Dancing is not a compilation of the band’s hits. It will feature new music and lyrics specially written for it by Davies, who has also conceived the story and co-written the book with Paul Sirett, with additional material by Terry Johnson.
London-born Ray Davies was the frontman for The Kinks for more than 30 years from their formation in 1963 to their disbandment in the mid-1990s. He wrote hits for the group including “You Really Got Me”, “All Day and All of the Night”, “Lola”, “Waterloo Sunset”, “Do It Again” and “Come Dancing”. He was inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005.
Come Dancing will be directed by Theatre Royal Stratford East artistic director Kerry Michael, who also directed reggae musical The Harder They Come, an adaptation of the 1972 Jamaican film starring Jimmy Cliff, which transferred to the West End last month following limited seasons at the Barbican and Stratford East, where it premiered in April 2006 (See 1st Night Photos, 10 Jun 2008).
Other musicals originated at Stratford East which have transferred to the West End include Five Guys Named Moe and, more recently, The Big Life. The theatre is in the middle of a five-year Musical Theatre Initiative with the aim of developing new shows based around highly contemporary music.
- by Terri Paddock