Review: Hilarious and talented cast shine in Sunny Afternoon at The Bristol Hippodrome

PUBLISHED: 15:14 08 March 2017 | UPDATED: 15:14 08 March 2017

Sunny Afternoon

Sunny Afternoon


The story of rock ‘n’ roll legends, The Kinks, was brought to life on stage last night (Tuesday) as Sunny Afternoon opened at The Bristol Hippodrome.

Sunny Afternoon Sunny Afternoon

The story follows the Hall Of Famer’s journey from rags to riches as they battle to stand out in a decade of greats.

The Kinks showed the audience the true meaning of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll as Dave Davies (played by Mark Newnham) swung from chandeliers and Ray Davies (played by Ryan O’Donnell) had his infamous romp turned shotgun wedding with Lithuanian-born back-up singer Rasa (played by Lisa Wright).

The high-power show is spellbinding from start to finish, with music as the highlight of the show, with the four band members delivering an unmissable performance.

It is difficult not to be jealous of the multi-talented stars of the show and chorus line as each member of the team could sing the highest note, break out into dance and then pick up a guitar or a pair of drum sticks and begin playing the music.

Sunny Afternoon Sunny Afternoon

If I was feeling drowsy after a long day at work, the band’s rendition of You Really Got Me woke me up and got the blood pumping, reminding me just how much I loved listening to the song in my house when I was a child.

The narrative, based on the book by Joe Penhall, centres around the bands best-known songs such as Dead End Street reflecting before the band were famous, All Day And All Of The Night depicting how their lives were taken over by their music careers and Waterloo Street and Sunny Afternoon at the band’s gigs.

There were two musical highlights for me; the first is the show’s versions of Stop Your Sobbing and I Go To Sleep, songs made famous by The Pretenders, which O’Donnell and Wright performed perfectly and even brought a tear to my eye.

The second highlight, and arguably the best moment in the entire show, was the finale performance of Lola.

The band put out an impeccable performance which was undeniably brilliant – every member of the audience were on their feet and were dancing and singing along.

In my opinion, the band was perfectly cast. Newnham carried off the drunk and disorderly nature of Dave Davies to a tee and Ryan O’Donnell took my breath away with his awe-inspiring singing voice.

The Kinks’ bassist Pete Quaife (played by Garmon Rhys) was faultless and I was shocked the seemingly quieter band member had such a strong voice.

If you had any suspicion the cast were simply acting and a backstage band were playing the instruments, this was put to bed when drummer Mick Avory (played by Joseph Richardson) rocked out in a four-minute drum solo which was incredible from start to finish.

Sunny Afternoon Sunny Afternoon

A fabulous, electrifying performance from start to finish and it left the Hippodrome audience in high spirits.

Sunny Afternoon will be at the Bristol Hippodrome, in St Augustines Parade, from today (Wednesday) until Saturday, with performances at 7.30pm each night and matinee shows at 2.30pm on Thursday and Saturday.

Tickets, priced £15-69.50, are available from 08448 713012 or online via

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