A PHRASE we seem to be hearing a lot lately is "I don't like musicals, but..."

Well, I don't like musicals, but a couple of weeks ago I saw La La Land at the cinema, and loved it.

And on Tuesday I went to see Sunny Afternoon at the New Theatre in Oxford - and loved it.

Of course, it helps to enjoy Sunny Afternoon if you like the songs of the Kinks, and I adore the songs of the Kinks. The key issue would be whether they would translate into a stage production.

The show is about The Kinks, and in particular the fractious Davies brothers Ray and Dave, whose notoriously stormy relationship makes the well-publicised feuding Gallaghers look like siblings from The Waltons.

It starts with their uncertain, nervous toe-dipping into the world of showbiz, and leads to the recording of the anthemic You Really Got Me - the song which invented heavy metal, dontcha know? - which really lifted the roof off the New Theatre.

The story followed the band through the 60s, from humble beginnings, seduction by fans and by greedy businessmen, and the horrors of a tour in the US.

And weaving it all together are the songs. Sir Ray Davies - newly be-knighted in the last New Year honours list - remains one of this country's greatest songwriters and this show, based on a story by him and written by Joe Penhall, features the best of them, classics all from All Day And Alll Of The Night to Dead End Street, from Dedicated Follower Of Fashion to Waterloo Sunset. Days was given added poignancy with its a capella/barbershop treatment, and Lola brought the house down at the end of the show.

Sunny Afternoon is an eye-catching production, with an imaginative set and a busy and talented cast. Dave Davies doesn't come out well in the story, but Mark Newnham gives it his all with his drunken jack-the-lad depiction. But it is Ryan O'Donnell who holds it all together as Ray, showing him to be a complicated, moody genius - O'Donnell acts the part well, but boy he can sing too.

The two-and-a-half hours of Sunny Afternoon flew by - indeed, I wanted more, there were so many more songs that I would love to have heard. You could say it really got me.