Beautiful; The Carole King Musical is a spellbinding triumph, which will leave you heart full and your spirit energised by the awesome power of King’s songs – and her journey from modest and self-doubting songwriter, to someone who finally realises her own spellbinding worth.
The show serves as a powerful vehicle for King’s glorious musical offerings, which encompass familiar teenage pop hits from the 50s, through to truly great rock anthems and the searing ballads of her award winning ‘Tapestry’ album.
Portrayed by the amazing Molly-Grace Cutler, it begins on an intimate and very poignant note, with the lead actress sat at a grand piano, against a relatively simple back drop, singing one of King’s most beautiful and nostalgic ballads.
The sentiment of the song ‘So Far Away’ is bittersweet, and Cutler’s voice carried across the Curve with such powerful and cutting emotion.
I’m not ashamed to admit that the tears streamed down my face as I sat there in the dark, captivated by the heart-wrenching vulnerability, and the power of the performance in that particular moment.
Despite such touching and tearjerking moments however, there are plenty of laughs and high energy offerings peppered throughout this very impressive and inspiring musical.
Stand out performances on the night came from Amena El-Kindy, who belts out a highly entertaining rendition of ‘The Locomotion’ in her role as ‘Little Eva’, and Jos Slovick, who stunned in the role of songwriter Barry Mann, delivering a knockout performance of ‘We Gotta Get Out of This Place.‘
Other performers delivered shimmering, soul saturated performances, embodying legendary acts of yesteryear including The Drifters, The Righteous Brothers and the Shirelles.
Also of note was Garry Robson, who played the role of music mogul Donnie Kirshner. Sat in a wheelchair, he played the part of the straight-talking businessman with such class, and a humour which really tickled me!
I left the show feeling thoughrily entertained; empowered, inspired and with a keen desire to find out more about Carole King; someone who I was only vaguely aware of before I sat down at the Curve.
However, I left as both a fan of the songwriter and also the woman herself; with a full heart which was bursting to sing.
And that it is very beautiful thing.
4/5 stars ****
Beautiful; The Carole King Musical is showing at Leicester’s Curve Theatre until March 12.
By Louise Steel