To say the atmosphere inside the Harold Pinter Theatre was electric would be an understatement still, the people in the audience, including myself, were all already so invested in the music of The Kinks, that to see the songs so effortlessly and passionately played by the likes of recent Olivier awards winners John Dagleish and George Maguire (who play Ray and Dave Davies) was an overwhelmingly glorious treat for the eyes and ears alike. I was blown away that despite including a vast array of songs, the show contained within it such a powerful story; credit to Joe Penhall for his effortless writing style and seamless story telling.
Director, Edward Hall, beautifully styled the show in such an inclusive way (“Exclusivity is out, inclusiveness is in!” as Ray would say) as to make the audience feel truly involved and apart of these four unlikely lads’ story. Actors frequently broke the fourth wall by integrating themselves with the audience and the runway, stemming from the centre of the stage, acted as a powerful feature for showcasing the particularly emotional and powerful moments of the musical; by giving the actor a sole spotlight a midst the audience.
It cannot be underplayed just what wonderful performances I witnessed at this show, not only did I see brilliant musicians, I also saw outstanding actors and the most heart-warming sense of camaraderie I’ve ever seen in a musical. Everyone cast within the show is so multi-talented that they can afford to have a lot of the actors not only play several roles, but additionally act as backing musicians for many of the songs, and do all that with such ease that you wouldn’t even notice that they’re doing it! That right there is pure, raw talent.
The show ended on such a high, after a spine-tingling medley of Lola/You Really Got Me/All Of The Day And All Of The Night that many of us were calling out for an encore. I was lucky enough to have bagged front row seats, and standing there screaming along to all the aforementioned songs, I felt like I was at a true Kinks concert; never have I been able to be so animated and loud within the confines of a theatre before.
The show is a true testament to not only The Kinks, but to the raw talent of everyone involved. I could sit here and gush about this musical until I’m blue in the face, or until my fingers go numb from all the typing, but the wonder of this show simply cannot be downplayed. You will roar with laughter, you will cry from heartbreak but you will come away thankful that the music of The Kinks exists.