Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, Aldwych Theatre

Carole King, the chart-topping music legend, was an ordinary girl with an extraordinary talent. She fought her way into the record industry as a teenager and sold her first hit, ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’, when she was just seventeen. By the time she was twenty she was writing number ones for the biggest acts in rock ‘n’ roll, including the Drifters, The Shirelles, Aretha Franklin and the Monkees. But her greatest challenge was to find her own voice and finally step into the spotlight.

I recently won a competition for two tickets to see Beautiful at the Aldwych Theatre and a £50 voucher for Sophie’s Steakhouse just around the corner. My friend Jen had to cancel last minute due to illness but luckily Charley was able to make it on short notice. Beautiful had never really been high on my list of shows to see (there are so many in London it really is difficult to decide which are worth your time and money) but having now seen it I would totally recommend it to anyone who loves a good musical.

I had no idea who Carole King was so her story was completely new to me and I was surprised to realise that I knew quite a few of the songs she and her writing partner, Gerry Goffin, had written throughout their career. The show follows the story of her life from being a teenager defying her mother in order to attend a meeting at 1650 Broadway in New York in order to try and sell her music to co-writing some of the biggest hits of the 60s before finally making it big with her own hit album Tapestry in the early 70s.

Carole’s home life was no picnic throughout this time and Katie Brayben does a  fantastic job of portraying the effects of these hardships (once you get over the slightly shoddy American accents). and while I thoroughly enjoyed the music the songs did feel a little shoehorned in at times when they otherwise could have been left out altogether.It’s a slow burner of a show and is obviously geared towards an older clientele but even people more my age are sure to enjoy themselves.

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