REVIEW: Beautiful, The Carole King Musical, Theatre Royal Norwich

Beautiful, The Carole King Musical

It is a near sell out week at the Theatre Royal as we enjoy this high-profile show which has taken the world by storm since the first performance in 2014.

It is the soundtrack to the life of one of the world’s leading singer songwriters, Carole King, whose back catalogue is almost something of a surprise. What an incredible and diverse amount of music she has created! Everything from the punchy You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman to the soul-searching Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow to the boppy The Locomotion.

Many of these were created with her first husband Gerry Goffin, who she met when she was just 16, and this show tells their tale - one of love and, you somehow feel, inevitable split. Indeed, it was the pain of their break up that released King’s own voice and she started to sing her own songs.

Bronte Barbe attacks the lead role, showing King’s natural musicality and vulnerability while Kane Oliver Parry is the husband who isn’t really ready to settle down to a cosy family life.

We also meet their friends and fellow hit makers Cynthia Weil (Amy Ellen Richardson) and Barry Mann (Matthew Gonsalves) who help to emphasis what an amazingly creative and productive period the 1960s and 70s were.

You come away with a sense of the genius of King and a greater appreciation of her work – which you’ll be singly softly to yourself for the next day or so!

The show continues until Saturday. More details at www.theatrenorwichtheatre.co.uk

Sarah Hardy

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