Beautiful – The Carole King Musical

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Beautiful which is playing at the Aldwych Theatre tells the touching and heart-warming story of Carole King (Katy Brayben) and her journey through the music industry from a teenage girl who at just 16 years old had her first hit ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’, through to her string of hits that many of us know and love today such as ‘You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman’, ‘Up on The Roof’ and ‘It Might As Well Rain Until September’.

The show also shows us her partnership with her husband Gerry Goffin (Alan Morrissey) and her relationship with writers Cynthia Weil, (Lorna Want) and Barry Mann, (Ian McIntosh).

Not having a great deal of exposure (or so I thought) to Carole’s music, I went with an open mind about what to expect. It was evident to see within a short while how many songs I was already familiar with, without realising that they had been written by Mrs King herself. Plus that some of the songs had been written by 16 year old who obviously had, and still has, so much talent in her writing ability and to touch so many people across a wide variety of songs.

The cast itself are relatively small in size and my hat goes off to the ensemble whose vocals were fantastic throughout. The set and lighting had obviously had much thought behind them and whilst the set was used well, it didn’t become too much or spoil the story behind Carole growing up.

Katy’s vocals throughout the show were brilliant. Her portrayal of dealing with a failing marriage to Gerry was very touching and at moments had my hair on end! My favourite song and moment would have to be her singing ‘You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman’.

I would thoroughly recommend seeing this show, you will be surprised at how many songs you know, never realising the talents of Carole King were behind them.

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