BEAUTIFUL THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL – HULL NEW THEATRE
21/01/2020 *PRESS NIGHT
4/5 **** (gifted tickets)
This week is a bit theatre heavy for my blog but for me, there’s no better way to spend a night! Show number 4 of 2020 was a press trip to see Beautiful The Carole King Musical at Hull New Theatre. Following last week’s visit to see We Will Rock You and having seen Guys + Dolls and Dear Evan Hansen (reviews to follow soon!), I can’t quite believe how much my hobby of musicals is taking shape this year!
This time, I took Mother Reed along so after Chinese food at our favourite restuarant (Yinjibar), we headed over. Now I was a Carole King fan beforehand anyway. My dad introduced me to her music many years ago and it’s easy to forget just how many hit songs she’s written.
Beautiful is a biopic jukebox musical of her life, featuring King’s songs as well as many that she wrote for other artists before turning solo. Unless you’re Carole King herself, you’ll find yourself forgetting that she wrote at least half a dozen of the songs featured! Performed by the entire cast, I’m pretty sure you’ll be singing along!
THE ‘BEAUTIFUL’ CAST
Carole herself was played by Daisy Wood-Davis. I was skeptical of her casting because she was dubbed as someone from Hollyoaks. When you read her credentials, they didn’t need to bother casting her as a ‘stunt’ performer. Whilst she has a lot of telly experience, she has played plenty of roles on the theatre circuit and gave Carole a contemporary update. She played her innocently and didn’t try to emulate her voice completely.
Laura Baldwin and Cameron Sharp were the two stand-outs for me personally, playing Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann. Their chemistry and vocals together was undeniable. I’m sad I didn’t get to see Laura as Dawn in Waitress but I expect we’ll see a lot more of her in the future. Cameron had a great range too and the pair were romantic, witty and really fed off each other.
Other leads included Adam Gillian as Gerry Goffin, who was charasmatic as Carole’s first husband but certainly gets a few boos later on in the show. He also holds his own in a vocally superb company. Vicki Manser as Betty and as part of the ensemble was just excellent; I just wish we got to see more of her! As the alternate for Carole, I’d love to see her take on the lead. I was lucky enough to see her Katherine Howard in Six, where she was sexy and sassy, so it would be interesting to see her in a quieter role.
Unfortunately, there were some techincal difficulties during the first act. The actors on stage were escorted off and the safety curtain was brought down. It seemed to be both sound and lighting issues but the disturbance was minimal. The cast continued on like nothing had happened! I also noticed there were some teething problems with the set being slow transitioning between scenes but that’s live theatre!
For a jukebox musical, I much preferred it to other viewings (here’s looking at you, Thriller Live) as it felt like more of a biopic, similar to Jersey Boys. The story was cohesive and showed a brief look at King’s life. From her starting out at 16 writing for others to her Carneige Hall concert in 1971 to celebrate arguable her best work, her Tapestry album.
Despite me also having a nosebleed three songs from the end, we had a wonderful night out. I’ve always enjoyed King’s music but never known a lot about her life. It was a great snapshot at that. Now I’m off to listen to Tapestry and find her autobiography on Amazon!
You can see Beautiful – The Carole King Musical at Hull New Theatre until Saturday 25th January or at one of the other UK tour stops.
Have you seen Beautiful – The Carole King Muscial before? Were you a fan?
Leave me a comment below or on Instagram with what you thought!