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Sunny Afternoon to tour again in 2020 visiting New Wimbledon Theatre in November

Ryan O'Donnell (Ray Davies). Photo by Kevin Cummins.

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

IN 2020, the multi Olivier Award-winning hit Sunny Afternoon will return for its second UK tour, opening at the Manchester Opera House on Friday, August 7, 2020.

Sunny Afternoon tells the story of the early life of Ray Davies and the rise to stardom of The Kinks, who exploded on to the 60s music scene with a raw, energetic new sound that rocked a nation.

Recipient of four Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical and Outstanding Achievement in Music for Ray Davies, Sunny Afternoon features some of The Kinks’ best-loved songs, including You Really Got Me, Waterloo Sunset, All Day and All of the Night and Lola.

Producer Sonia Friedman said: “I’ve loved this musical from the moment Ray Davies, Joe Penhall, Ed Hall and I started to develop it several years ago and am incredibly excited and proud that we are bringing back our joyous and celebratory Olivier Award-winning Best New Musical. For those who missed it the first-time round, UK audiences will have the treat of experiencing it for the very first time or, if you’ve seen it before, you’ll be able to see it again and again!

“The Kinks helped shape a generation and Ray’s beautifully truthful lyrics and music are as exhilarating and relevant today as the day he wrote them. I’m so happy we will all get a chance to see Sunny Afternoon soon – I’ve missed it in my life.”

Ray Davies added: “In these times of political uncertainties, it is a relief to know that Sunny Afternoon is on the horizon to lift our spirits”.

Set against the backdrop of a Britain caught mid-swing between the conservative 50s and riotous 60s, this production explores the euphoric highs and agonising lows of one of Britain’s most celebrated bands and the irresistible music that influenced generations.

Following a sell-out run at Hampstead Theatre, Sunny Afternoon opened to critical acclaim at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London’s West End in October 2014 where it ran for two years ahead of its critically-acclaimed, five-star tour of the UK and Ireland throughout 2016/17.

Sunny Afternoon has music and lyrics by Ray Davies, with a book by Joe Penhall and original story by Ray Davies. It is directed by Edward Hall and designed by Miriam Buether, with choreography by Adam Cooper, lighting design by Rick Fisher and sound design by Matt McKenzie. Musical and vocal adaptations are by Ray Davies and Elliott Ware based on original Kinks’ recordings.

Producers of the Sunny Afternoon UK tour include Sonia Friedman Productions, Ambassador Theatre Group Productions with Adam Blanshay Productions and Rupert Gavin.

Following the Manchester Opera House dates (August 7-15), Sunny Afternoon will visit Bristol Hippodrome; Milton Keynes Theatre; Hull New Theatre; Congress Theatre, Eastbourne; Sunderland Empire; Winter Gardens, Blackpool; Theatre Royal, Brighton; Southend Cliffs Pavilion; Regent Theatre, Stoke; Mayflower Theatre, Southampton; Alhambra Theatre, Bradford; Edinburgh Playhouse; New Wimbledon Theatre (November 24-28) and The Alexandra, Birmingham, with further dates to be announced.

Official Website

Image: Ryan O’Donnell (Ray Davies). Photo by Kevin Cummins.