The current UK touring cast of Beautiful – The Carole King Musical knocked the socks off their opening night at the New Wimbledon Theatre. Having seen the show a handful of times in the West End with both Katy Brayben and Cassidy Janson playing the lead role, I was somewhat sceptical with seeing the show on tour, despite enjoying the previous performances in London.
The musical has been on tour for the last 8 months and I was slightly concerned that it may have showed signs it was soon coming to an end, after some time had passed since the tour started back in Bradford. How wrong I could be!
Beautiful tells the deeply emotional story of Carole King and her journey within the music industry as a young and naive teenager, through to her endless hits including Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, Natural Woman, The Locomotion and It Mights As Well Rain Until September. The show lets the audience see her partnership develop with husband, Gerry Goffin (Kane Oliver Parry) and her touching relationship with writers Cynthia Weil (Amy Ellen Richardson) and Barry Mann (Matthew Gonsalves).
Despite seeing the show and being familiar with the storyline and what to expect – I was not left disappointed! Bronté Barbé plays the lead role of Carole King and I was absolutely stunned by her commitment to the character, emotion in each song and her vocal range and ability. A truly honest and moving performance.
It has been an extremely long time since a performance has moved me in the way Bronté did. She absolutely suits this role and I loved her performance and what she brings to the role. It was very different to the previous performances and suited the show perfectly.
I was super impressed by the extremely hard woking cast including the ensemble and swings. This is a show that features a lot of quick changes and commands hard work from the entire cast. Despite the tour coming to an end in less than 5 weeks, the show felt like the very first performance. The energy was high, the emotion raw and the standing ovation by the entire audience at the curtain call was utterly well deserved.
Whether you have listened to the iconic songs of Carole King, you will thoroughly enjoy the show and all it offers.
From humour to heartbreak, its a touching and relatable story for us all.