The Kinks are widely regarded as one of the most influential British rock bands of all time. The group dominated the charts throughout the swinging sixties and became a favourite amongst the Mods.
There is some speculation about a possible reunion for The Kinks next year, but in the meantime, fans can still re-live the magic through Ray Davies’ superb hit West End musical, Sunny Afternoon, which stars BIMM alumnus Mark Newnham as Dave Davies!
Mark is a natural in the production and looks as if he was born to play Ray Davies’ animated and unpredictable, yet immensely talented younger brother.
“He is flamboyant, passionate, he wears his heart on his sleeve and likes to annoy the other band members. I love playing guitar solos like him,” he told The Argus in Brighton.
Speaking to BIMM about the role, Mark revealed how he hounded his agent to secure an audition. The former BIMM Brighton student got through to the final stages, where he was tasked with impressing Ray Davies himself, as Mark explained:
“I guess he has the right to vet who is going to take on the mantle of portraying his family and friends. Luckily it didn’t throw me too much, and I was even able to make him laugh in the audition, so that may have won him over.”
Both Mark and The Kinks’ lead songwriter have since bonded. The legendary musician once approached Mark to compliment his guitar:
“During rehearsals, he came up to me and talked about the guitar I was using on stage. It was a Guild guitar, and he said ‘I used to own one of those, they are great.’ He is such a nice man,” he explained.
Mark, who hails from Lancing in West Sussex, will return to Brighton later this month for a homecoming of sorts when Sunny Afternoon rolls into Theatre Royal. The show will run there from Tuesday, December 13 to New Year’s Eve (Saturday 31 December).