Theatre News

Ray Davies musical Sunny Afternoon premieres at Hampstead in May

The show is based on the early years of Davies and his chart-topping band The Kinks

Ray Davies with his WhatsOnStage Award for Come Dancing
Ray Davies with his WhatsOnStage Award for Come Dancing
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Sunny Afternoon, a musical based on Kinks singer Ray Davies' early years, will premiere at Hampstead Theatre in the spring.

Featuring music and lyrics by Davies, with a book by award-winning playwright Joe Penhall, the production "explores the euphoric highs and agonising lows of one of Britain’s most iconic bands and the irresistible music that influenced generations".

Hampstead Theatre’s artistic director Edward Hall directs, following Raving in November and Chariots of Fire in 2012 (Hampstead and West End).

According to press material: "July 30, 1966, as Bobby Moore lifts the world-cup trophy, a hundred thousand fans in Wembley are singing 'Sunny Afternoon' in unison; the number one hit which rocked the nation that summer. But how did that happen? And how did The Kinks end up not only invading America but also being banned from playing there at the height of their career?"

Designed by Miriam Buether (Chariots of Fire), Sunny Afternoon runs from 1 to 24 May 2014 (previews from 14 April).

It is not Davies' first foray into musical theatre. He previously starred in his self-penned musical Come Dancing, which premiered at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East in 2008. The show won the 2009 WhatsOnStage Award for Best Off-West End Production.

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