REVIEW: BEAUTIFUL (New Victoria Theatre) ★★★★★

Beautiful – where do I start? It’s a fabulous, upbeat and uplifting Show… 5 Stars from me. Go and Book a ticket now!

Ok Maybe I should try to justify that reaction a little. This is a review after all!

Beautiful tells the story of Carole King and her rise to stardom and weaves in the heart wrenching tale of her relationship with husband Gerry Goffin. Bronte Barbe plays Carole King in a standout performance that shows vulnerability, joy and real strength.

The show is chock-full of memorable songs and I was in a constant state of surprise hearing so many memorable songs that I had no idea, had been penned by Carole King, such as the Take Good Care of My Baby for Bobby Vee, Up on the Roof for the Drifters, I’m into Something Good for Earl-Jean One Fine Day for The Chiffons, and (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman for Aretha Franklin.

Amy Ellen Richardson and Matthew Gonsalves play fellow songwriters Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, whose own songbook is also well represented here as well. From the Drifters’ On Broadway, to The Righteous Brothers’ You’ve Lost That Loving’ Feeling – together they are truly are a magical pair. Even as I write this, just thinking about them brings a big smile to my face. Their comic timing, their solo singing and the duet Walking in the Rain are again worth the price of a ticket alone.

Credit must also go to Kane Oliver Parry, who embodies the role of Carole’s, husband, Gerry Goffin which he plays with swagger, warmth and an incredible voice to match.

Even though it is always too easy to single out individuals for praise, the entire ensemble is superb and they all deliver a knock out show.

It only runs untill Saturday – if you’ve not got a ticket, grab one now as Happy Days are Here in Woking this week.

Reviewed by Neil Mcfarlane


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