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Kinks singer creates musical for school pupils

Kinks singer Ray Davies has created a brand new musical designed to be performed by school pupils.
Produced by Grizedale Arts, Child’s Play premiered at the weekend (September 4th) as part of the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Festival of Britain.
And while most rock and pop stars have used their discography to be used on the West End stage with a huge cast, Child’s Play is somewhat more low-key.
Performed by six pupils at John Ruskin School in the Lake District village of Coniston, the play uses hits from the band and Davies’ solo work to provide a “commentary on the aspirations and disappointments through the decades of modern Britain since the Festival of Britain in 1951”.
The students portray three couples from different social classes and their reactions to historical events from the death of Princess Diana to the global economic crisis.
Throughout the production they perform Kinks tracks including Waterloo Sunset, Dead End Street and Do It Again with two musicians.
Child’s Play was first performed at the Southbank Centre in London last weekend, but the pupils are set to bring the musical home to Cumbria at a later date in an effort by Grizedale Arts to bring back to life a former miners’ institute and now community arts and education centre, the Coniston Institute.
Davies is not the only musician to lend his music to the lights of the stage. Rod Stewart and Madness had a stab at creating musicals out of their back catalogue, while Queen and Abba have had a considerable amount of success.
We Will Rock You, which was written by comedian Ben Elton and uses the best-selling tracks of Queen, is now in its tenth year on London’s West End.
Meanwhile, over 50 million people worldwide have flocked to see Mamma Mia! since it premiered in London in 1999.

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