The West End production of the two-time Tony award-winning Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, will open at the Aldwych Theatre London in February 2015. Based on the early life and career of legendary singer/songwriter Carole King, Beautiful has a book by Douglas McGrath with words and music by Gerry Goffin, Carole King, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and is directed by Marc Bruni. Choreography is by Josh Prince with set designs by Derek McLane, costume designs by Alejo Viettii, lighting by Peter Kaczorowski and sound by Brian Ronan. Orchestrations and Music Arrangements are by Steve Sidwell. Beautiful – The Carole King Musical will be produced in London by Paul Blake and Sony/ATV Music Publishing.
Carole King said: “A few years ago I went to an early reading of a new musical about my life. Though some scenes about my younger years were very emotional for me, I could tell it was going to be a good show. I didn’t go to the opening on Broadway, but when I finally worked up the courage to see it, I loved everything about Beautiful! This show is an honest portrayal of my early life with Gerry Goffin and our friendship with our competitors Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. It captures the essence of my emergence as a singer and my growth as a woman. I love that the next chapter of the Beautiful story is taking place in London’s West End. I have so many good friends in London and warm memories of good times there. I can’t wait to re-visit!”
Beautiful – The Carole King Musical is the untold story of her journey from school girl to superstar; from her relationship with husband and song-writing partner Gerry Goffin, their close friendship and playful rivalry with fellow song-writing duo Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, to her remarkable rise to stardom. Along the way, she became one of the most successful solo acts in music history, and wrote the soundtrack to a generation.
With a cast of 26 and an orchestra of 12, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical in London features the Carole King classics including So Far Away, It Might As Well Rain until September, Take Good Care of my Baby, Will You Love Me Tomorrow, Up on the Roof, Locomotion, One Fine Day, You’ve Got a Friend, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and I Feel the Earth Move, along with hits like You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling, On Broadway and Uptown from songwriters Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.
Multi award-winning Carole King fought her way into the record industry as a teenager and sold her first hit, Will You Love Me Tomorrow, when she was just seventeen. By the time she was twenty she was writing number ones for the biggest acts in rock ‘n’ roll, including The Drifters, The Shirelles, Aretha Franklin and The Monkees. In a first for a female singer/songwriter, King’s album Tapestry won all three of the 1971 key Grammy Awards—record, song and album of the year. The same year King also won the Grammy for Best Female Vocalist. With more than 25 million records sold, Tapestry remained the best-selling album by a female artist for a quarter of a century. More than 400 of her compositions have been recorded by over 1,000 artists, resulting in 100 hit singles and 6 Grammy awards.
The Tony award-winning Beautiful – The Carole King Musical continues at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on Broadway where is opened on 12 January this year and has subsequently become one of Broadway’s top selling shows, playing to capacity houses. A US tour will commence in September 2015 in Rhode Island.
Casting and further information about the West End production of Beautiful – The Carole King Musical will be released at a later date. Book tickets online or by telephone today.
Aldwych Theatre, Aldwych, London WC2B 4DF
10 February 2015 – 13 June 2015
Press Night: 25 February 2015 at 7pm
Evenings: Monday – Saturday 7.30pm
Matinees: Thursday and Saturday matinees 2.30pm
When the area between Wellington Street, The Strand and Fleet Street was reconstructed in the later years of the nineteenth century, much of London’s old theatreland area was removed, and the modern-day streets of Aldwych and Kingsway were built, with plans started for the building of two theatres with identical facades along the Aldwych. One to be constructed on the corner of Catherine Street, and the other one on the corner of Drury Lane. Between the two theatres was the Waldorf hotel.
The Aldwych Theatre was designed by W G R Sprague and constructed by Balham’s Walter Wallis for Seymour Hicks. The theatre started with a production of Blue Bell, a new adaptation of Hicks’ popular pantomime Bluebell in Fairyland. In 1906, The Beauty of Bath, and then followed in 1907 with The Gay Gordons. February 1913 saw the theatre being utilized by Serge Diaghilev and Vaslav Nijinsky for rehearsals of Le Sacre du Printemps ahead of its controversial premiere in Paris later in the year.
In 1920, Basil Rathbone played the role of Major Wharton in The Unknown. During the period of 1925-1933, it turned into the home of farces by Ben Travers, also referred to as The Aldwych Farces. Travers’ company incorporated Ralph Lynn, Tom Walls, Yvonne Arnaud, Norma Varden, Mary Brough, Winifred Shotter and Robertson Hare. Richard Tauber presented and starred in a new adaptation of Das Dreimäderlhaus, called Lilac Time, in 1933. From approximately 1935 to 1960, the theatre was owned by the Abrahams.
During the post Second World War years, Vivien Leigh, who had won an Academy Award for the film version, starred in a 1949 London production of A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by her husband, Laurence Olivier, with Bonar Colleano co-starring as Stanley.
On 15th December 1960, it was announced that the RSC of Stratford-upon-Avon was to have its London productions’ base at the Aldwych Theatre for the following three years. They stayed for more than 20 years, before moving to the Barbican Arts Centre in 1982. Amidst many notable productions were The Wars of the Roses, The Greeks, and Nicholas Nickleby, along with many other Shakespeare productions.
During absences of the RSC, the theatre played host to the annual World Theatre Seasons, with plays in their original international productions, invited to London by impresario Peter Daubeny, occurring annually from 1964 to 1973 and concluding in 1975. For his involvement in the performances of these seasons, and without any Arts Council or other official financial support, in 1972, Daubeny won the Evening Standard Special Award. The Aldwych Theatre was listed as a Grade II listed building on 20th July 1971.
In 1990-91, Joan Collins starred in Private Lives and since 2000, the theatre has hosted a wide variety of plays, comedies and musical productions. With Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Whistle Down the Wind playing until 2001, and Fame enjoying a run from 2002 to 2006. Since then, the venue has hosted Dancing in the Streets, which then moved to the Playhouse Theatre and since September 2006 has been the home to the British musical version of Dirty Dancing by Eleanor Bergstein. At the Aldwych Theatre in 2014 is Stephen Ward the new musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Photographs taken 9th September 2010
Copyright Neil Cheesman www.lastminutetheatretickets.com