Just got back home, after braving all sorts of weather and Man U playing at home traffic, from seeing the truly awesome, fabulous and brilliant show at the Palace Theatre 'Beautiful' the musical version of the story of American songwriter and singer Carole King.
After arriving a little late i was immediately immersed in this story and carried along on a roller coaster ride through the music scene of the early 1960s. Having been a teenager myself during this period it was fabulous to know all the words of the songs and the memories they awoke in me from 50 years ago. I remembered the heartache and tears of that time as well as the love I felt as the songs made me think of meeting my husband during that time and we were married in 1964, and we are still together 54 years later. So you might know that I approached this production with high hopes which were perhaps unrealistic.
But I need not have had any doubts because the company nailed it. It is a fantastic evocation of the life and songs of Carole King with her various collaborators with - musicians, singers and actors. Carole King wrote or composed the music for over 400 hit songs including her iconic 1971 album Tapestry that defined the era and she is still song writing now in her 70s.
Bronte Barbe plays King and makes her a wonderfully rounded character. Kane Oliver Parry takes the role of Carole's husband and librettist for her early songs. Amy Ellen Richardson plays rival librettist and Carole's friend Cynthia Weil and Matthew Gonsalves plays with humour the part of rival composer and hypochondriac Barry Mann. They are all brilliant in their performances
This is big cast and these are all strong characters. The many other actors in the performance are each wonderful in their own roles. Everything about this production is superlative and it truly deserved the standing ovation it received when sadly it all ended all too soon.
It is on until the 6th of January and if you can get tickets I urge you to see it. This is a life changing and a life affirming experience