Beautiful – The Carole King Musical launched onto the London stage in February 2015 (though it feels like it’s been around for a lot longer) and has since become an Olivier Award-winning production featuring such familiar hits as Will You Love Me Tomorrow, Take Good Care Of My Baby and Locomotion.
Beautiful – The Carole King Musical has celebrated a successful run on Broadway (www.beautifulonbroadway.com) with an additional North American tour (up to September 2016) and a new London stage show.
Directed by Marc Bruni, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical provides a different take on the typical musical success story.
Katie Brayben – with theatre credits including King Charles III at the Almeida and Wyndham’s Theatre and Mamma Mia! in the West End – was a natural fit as lead Carole King, depicted through the decades from 1950 to 1971.
Perfectly suited to the role, she demonstrated strong, unbreakable vocals set alongside a prominent and captivating stage presence.
Based on the book by Douglas McGrath, the character development of Carole King was well structured and escalated quickly. Audience members often felt empathy for her character, who was almost too naïve and sickly sweet at times.
This and her outfits combined were entertaining enough (with the help of Costume Designer Alejo Vietti) consisting of bold prints, cropped cardigans and long, pleated skirts (think Grease).
For an original Broadway production, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical did well to adapt to British audiences with a frequent injection of humour – even though it’s not necessarily classed as a comedy.
Composer Carole King and songwriter husband Gerry Goffin’s love affair was admirable – inducing a mild twang of jealously – though I do believe the nervous breakdown of Gerry Goffin after the interval deserved a little more exploration. Beautiful – The Carole King Musical opened the same as it ended and really utilised Katie Brayben’s stunning vocals, concluding with the solo song Beautiful. Katie Brayben received a standing ovation for her performance as Carole King and secured herself as the rising star of the West End.
Beautiful – The Carole King Musical has recently extended its booking period to October 2016 at the Aldwych Theatre.
Discounted rates are available for groups of 15-plus at £35 per person. Groups of six plus are priced at £45 per person, valid for Monday to Thursday performances. School group rates are available for Tuesday and Wednesday performances.
It has been announced that two new leads will join the ensemble from November 30, 2015 with Cassidy Janson taking over the role of Carole King and Diane Keen taking over as her mother Genie Klein. They will join current cast members Alan Morrissey (Gerry Goffin), Lorna Want (Cynthia Weil), Ian McIntosh (Barry Mann) and Gary Trainor as Don Kirshner. For more information visit www.beautifulmusical.co.uk.