Later this month a new musical – Sunny Afternoon – about the life of Ray Davies and The Kinks will open in London. It’s the latest in a recent slew of classic artists being given the musical theatre treatment, from The Beatles’ West End re-imagining Let It Be to Jersey Boys (about The Four Seasons) to Beautiful, which tells the life story of Carole King – all of which are currently showing.
Over the years, meanwhile, there have been even more stage productions trying to distil the glamour and intensity of rock’n’roll into a two-act, family-friendly night out. There’s Holler If You Hear Me, the ill-fated musical based on Tupac, Thriller (no prizes for guessing there), Green Day’s American Idiot, and a Bolan-indebted 20th Century Boy and even a musical about Nigerian afrobeat pioneer (and hardcore polygamist) Fela Kuti. It seems no artist is too sacred for jazz hands.
Are these shows bringing a new audience or a new angle to a tried and tested back catalogue or does the idea of a Sylvia Young stage school graduate sticking on a baker boy hat and pretending to be Lennon make your stomach turn?
Here’s some exclusive tracks from Sunny Afternoon for you to make your own mind up. Have a listen and then have your say in our poll below…