Review: Beautiful - The Carole King Musical: A Juke Box Musical At Its Very Best

By Nicky Sweetland
Monday 02 March 2015

Following huge success on Broadway, Beautiful based on the life and music of Carole King had already enjoyed rave reviews at the Aldwych Theatre since it's opening this week so I was very much looking forward to finding out what all the fuss was about.

The story centres around King's life from her early song writing days, collaborating with her then-husband Gerry Goffin played by Alan Morrissey, through to her enormous success with her smash hit solo album Tapestry and her appearance at Carnegie Hall. 

Katie Brayben as Carole King, is truly remarkable. The tonality of her singing is just wonderful with not too much musical theatre and a raw edginess and emotive quality which sinks into your every pore. Brayben is tipped to be a big star with her performance alone worth the ticket price. 

Beautiful is a juke box musical literally packed with hit songs from the dynamic 'Locomotion' to the glorious 'Natural Woman'. The ensemble provides an affectionate look at the sixties world of rock and roll, with amusing choreography and some lovely harmonies. The catchy tunes and lyrics make it very hard not to sing and tap along and in fact quite a few of the sold out audience did. 

Complementing the leading characters perfectly Lorna Want as Cynthia Weil and Ian McIntosh as Barry Mann add a charming and light side to the sometimes heavy story. An accomplished and very successful writing partnership in their own right we were also treated to some of their biggest 60s hits including the marvellous 'Uptown'.

With some amusing lines and some very touching and emotional scenes Beautiful - The Carole King Musical at the Aldwych Theatre is jukebox musical at it's very best.


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Nicky Sweetland

Nicky is fanatical about musical theatre and loves to watch as much of it as she can.

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