It turned into a great night for Sunny Afternoon at last week’s Olivier Awards, when the musical based on the early life of English rock musician Ray Davies and the formation of the band The Kinks stole the show with four gongs including Best New Musical.
Formed in Muswell Hill, London by brothers Dave and Ray Davies with Pete Quaife in 1963 The Kinks rose to fame during the mid-60s and were part of the British Invasion of the US. They are considered one of the most important and influential rock groups of that era. Throughout its 32 year run, The Kinks songs occupied top positions on the UK charts with hits including Lola, You Really Got Me, Waterloo Sunset and Sunny Afternoon.
Written by Joe Penhall with music and lyrics by Ray, Sunny Afternoon, The Musical’s title is based on the 1966 UK singles chart number one of the same name. It made its world premiere in 2014 at the Hampstead Theatre where it enjoyed critical and commercial success with a sell out limited run before transferring to the Harold Pinter Theatre in London’s West End.
At the Oliviers Ray won the Outstanding Achievement in Music Award along with John Dagleish (as Ray) for Best Actor in a Musical and George Maguire (as Dave) for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical, which was deserved but not expected.
I met both John and George on a somewhat chilly overcast afternoon yesterday, but they brightened the day singing my sketch and some very complementary comments – two of the nicest guys I’ve met in all the time I’ve stalked stage doors, I congratulated both on the their Olivier success and George said, “it was great… I guess the underdog won.”