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When ‘You Really Got Me’ exploded on Swinging London in 1964, the Kinks forever changed the course of rock ’n’ roll. Ray Davies and Joe Penhall’s Olivier Award-winning Sunny Afternoon (2014) covers the band’s formative years of 1964–7, when four working- class North London lads broke through to become one of the most unlikely and influential rock bands of the 1960s. Mixing the comic adventures of ‘Dave the Rave’ with the touching introspection of Ray’s sometimes fragile psyche, Joe Penhall’s script weaves Ray Davies’ songs, both the hits and lesser-known works, into one of the finest jukebox musicals of the new millennium.
Drawing on a wealth of background material, John Fleming examines the blend of events and songs selected, reconsidering the relationship between biography and drama to shed new light on the Kinks and the musical that tells their story.
Introduction 1. The Principal Players 2. Act One 3. Act Two Appendix A: Sunny Afternoon Fact Sheet Appendix B: The Songs of Sunny Afternoon Bibliography
Routledge’s Fourth Wall books are short, accessible accounts of some of modern theatre’s best loved works. They take a subjective but easily digestible approach to their topics, allowing their authors the opportunity to explore their chosen subject in a way that is absorbing enough to be of use both to lovers of theatre and those who are being asked to study a play more deeply.
Each book in the series looks at a specific play, variously exploring its themes, contexts and characteristics while prioritising original, insightful writing over complexity or scholarly weight. While other cultural products such as albums and films are well served by this kind of writing, the Fourth Wall series aims to find room between rigorous analysis and the short format of reviews or articles. They are extended accounts that get to the heart of their chosen works without being bound by the density that academic treatments can often require.