Shropshire Star

Carole King musical all set to hit county stage

A musical theatre company will be bringing the songs and life of music legend Carole King to the stage next week.


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Shrewsbury Musical Theatre Company is putting on its production of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical at Theatre Severn, running from Thursday, June 13, through to Saturday.

The musical tells the inspirational story of King's rise to stardom, charting the ups and downs that saw her go from one half of a hit song-writing duo to one of the most successful singer-songwriters in history.

Audiences can look forward to a stream of unforgettable classics including 'You've Got a Friend', 'One Fine Day', 'So Far Away', 'Take Good Care of My Baby', 'Up on the Roof', 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling', 'Will You Love Me Tomorrow', and 'Natural Woman'.

The title role of Carole King is being played by Amelia Wildmore-Evans, with Nathanael Hodgkiss playing the star's first husband, Gerry Goffin.

Playing their best friends and songwriting rivals Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil are Scott Sutherland and Jess Knowles, while leading the iconic groups The Shirelles and The Drifters are professional soloists BeeBee Bassey and Theo Pitter.

The show's musical director Brandon Corfield said they had been working on the production since January and are now looking forward to sharing a "fantastic show" come opening night.

He said: "We've been rehearsing for five months now, but it always surprises me how rapidly things start to take shape the closer to the show we get. Scenes and numbers suddenly begin to fall into place, and before you know it there is a complete show right in front of you.

"Monday was that night for me, and it is such a good feeling to see all the hard work from the whole cast and crew paying off."

He added: "It always amazes me when we get to see all this work manifest itself into a complete, running performance. There reaches a point where all it is missing is a great audience – together with them I really believe this will be a fantastic show."

Scott Sutherland, the company director who is also playing the role of Barry Mann, said there was a real anticipation about being able to share the show with the audiences.

He said: "I am very excited, I think it is a really fabulous production that has got some incredible music and a really nice storyline that follows a true-life story.

"Over the last couple of weeks rehearsals have really ramped up and it is sounding amazing.

"Brandon has done a really good job with the cast to bring the music to life and I think it is a really nice one for people to come and see the story behind many popular songs that they already know."

Miss Wildmore-Evans said she was thrilled to be playing a 'living legend' in what is her biggest role yet.

She said the show provides a fantastic mix of a 'real-life story' with some 'really gritty scenes', and a host of classic songs.

She said: "We are all super excited. We have been working on it since January, so six months of hard work, and it is really coming to fruition now."

She added: "There will be so many songs people will recognise and they potentially won't even attribute them to her – she wrote more than 400 songs and had over 100 top 100 hits."

Tickets, which are available from £15, can be booked by visiting the Theatre Severn website – which also includes details of showings.