Ray Davies comes dancing

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The Independent Culture

Next month, a new musical written by the former Kinks lead singer Ray Davies, and based on his life, will open at the Theatre Royal Stratford East.

Following the successes of We Will Rock You and Mamma Mia!, this opening could be regarded as yet another musical in a crowded marketplace, what with its age-old plot of love triumphing over adversity, and its inclusion of a popular artist's music.

But unlike its mainstream competitors, Come Dancing can boast something unique: the participation of its subject.

Davies, who first came up with the concept more than 10 years ago, will be starring as a younger version of himself, and wrote 20 original songs for the show, with the only Kinks hit featuring being the titular "Come Dancing". Although now 64, Davies will lead the cast in the first musical performance of his career.

Far from letting his name and music carry the production, Davies has been keen to get involved in a show inspired by (and set in) the legendary Ilford Palais. The show's director, Kerry Michael, says that it will be "glorious in a lot of ways".

'Come Dancing', Theatre Royal Stratford East, London E15 (020-8534 0310), 13 September to 25 October