Kinks Musical Coming to London - Rolling Stone
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Kinks Musical Coming to London

‘Sunny Afternoon’ uses band’s hits to tell Ray Davies’ life story

Ray Davies performs in Paddock Wood, United Kingdom.Ray Davies performs in Paddock Wood, United Kingdom.

Ray Davies performs in Paddock Wood, United Kingdom.

Gus Stewart/Redferns via Getty Images

A new musical based on the life of Kinks frontman Ray Davies is coming to London next year. The BBC reports that Sunny Afternoon, named after the Kinks’ 1966 hit, will use songs by the band to tell the story of Davies’ early life as well as the rise of the band he founded with his brother Dave in 1964.

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The show is based on a script by Joe Penhall, who has won a number of playwriting honors, including the 2000 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play for his work Blue/Orange. Casting details have not yet been announced, but the play is set to open at London’s Hampstead Theatre.

This isn’t the first stage musical based on Ray Davies’ work. In 2008, he wrote a musical called Come Dancing, inspired by the Kinks hit of same name. Set in a London dance hall in the 1950s, the show just used the one song by the band, in addition to about 20 new songs that Davies wrote for the project.

Next year is a big one for the Kinks: they’ll be celebrating their 50-year anniversary and, although the last time they performed together was 1996, there seems to be some chance of a reunion. “We talked about the old days and maybe doing something next year,” guitarist Dave Davies recently told Rolling Stone of his relationship with his brother, which has been troubled over the years. “I thought to myself, ‘Oh shit, maybe we could actually do something before we fall down dead.’ It was very positive.” 

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