Beautiful: The Carole King Musical – A Quick Capsule Theatre Review


Get ready to tap your toes and to get up on your feet to dance as the a brand new production of the award winning West End and Broadway show Beautiful – The Carole King Musical arrives in Eastbourne this week to wow crowds at the historic Congress Theatre.  

Telling the untold story of Carole Kings journey from school girl to superstar, it's packed to the rafters will popular hist from Kings back catalogue including  So Far Away, It Might As Well Rain until September, Locomotion, One Fine Day, You've Got a Friend, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, I Feel the Earth Move and many more! 

To be honest, it's not a story I was familiar with previously and before seeing the show last night if you'd asked me to name a Carole King song, embarrassingly, I probably couldn't. Well that's all changed now. In fact leaving the packed Congress Theatre on opening night I can now honestly say that I'm now a die hard Carole King convert!  

The musical it's self is a story of two halves - the first act a look at the creation of some of the most memorable and timeless songs ever written, telling the story of King and her future husband and song writing partner Gerry Goffin.  Act two explores the relationships at the heart of King's life as well as her eventual departure from New York.  The structure works well and cleverly allows for the passing of time in a story than spans decades.  Oh and get ready to meet some of the 60's most iconic performing artists along the way.   It's a story not short of drama but  alongside the excellent musical numbers there's some brilliant one liners along the way that had the audience laughing out loud on more than a few occasions. In fact one of Beautiful – The Carole King Musical's strongest achievements is its ability to balance music, drama and humour so effortlessly. 

The musical has a phenomenal cast, but it's lead Molly-Grace Cutler's iconic turn as King that you will be remembering.  Cutler delivers a performance with depth and heart whilst at the same time never missing a note as she delivers King's song's with power and grace.  It's a sight to behold.  

And whilst the rest of the cast are note perfect in their performances, they are equally note perfect with the music.  There's no separate string section or percussion here - almost everyone in the cast at some point plays their own instruments.  Often two or three.  

I short: it's a brilliant show and I defy anyone not to leave the Congress theatre not having been charmed by this powerful, funny and ultimately uplifting tale of a girl from Brooklyn who ended up winning the hearts of audiences across the globe.  

Starring Molly-Grace Cutler  Tom Milner Seren Sandham-Davies & Jos Slovick. Directed by Nikolai FosterWords and Music by Gerry Goffin & Carole King, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical is performing at Eastbourne's Congress Theatre from  through to