REVIEW: Sunny Afternoon at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

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After their rise to fame in the sixties, The Kinks recorded several theatrical concept albums in the seventies.

It’s unsurprising, then, that lead Kink Ray Davies should write a musical based on their career; a giant among English songwriters, his storytelling lyrics are tailor-made for a musical.

Many famous vignettes from the band’s chequered story up to the end of the seventies are played out, including Dave Davies’ amp-slashing idea that created the riff on You Really Got Me. Ryan O’Donnell and Mark Newnham excel as bickering siblings Ray and Dave. The set is imaginative, the dialogue is sparkling, and the dances give a real feel for the period.

Lesser-known songs like A Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy sit nicely alongside the likes of Lola and Waterloo Sunset. The best number, though, was the breathtaking version of Days. I won’t spoil it and say why, go and find out. SIMON EVANS