Review - Beautiful at the Cliffs Pavilion Southend

If you love music then you owe it to yourself to see this musical based on the life of Carole King.

It buzzes with every song you can think of from the late 1950s onwards and left me with a massive smile on my face.

Despite tackling fairly grown-up issues including the turbulent relationship she had with her husband and writing partner Gerry Goffin, this is not a sad tale and will have you laughing and crying in equal measure.

King and Goffin wrote pretty much every hit of note in their hey day including Some Kind of Wonderful, Will you Still Love me Tomorrow ? and the Locomotion.

And what they didn't write seems to have been penned by their friends, and rivals, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.

As a result this show features a whole host of massive hits every generation will know - for me the stand out was the performance of the Righteous Brothers' You've Lost that Loving Feeling - but it is hard to pick a winner in here.

The four main leads are phenomenal, having to really convey adult emotions and situations as well as singing all the top tunes.

Bronte Barbe as Carole is hugely moving, charting the singer's progress from excited and enthusiastic schoolgirl to a working mother trying to make ends meet and keep her husband happy.

Her chemistry with Kane Oliver Parry as Gerry and between them and Matthew Gonsalves and Amy Ellen Richardson as Barry and Cynthia is at the heart of this show and earned them all a much deserved standing ovation.

The theatre was quite rightly packed on this, the opening night, and that is how it should be.

What a treat to be able to see such a top notch West End show right on our doorstep. Lauren Oldershaw

* Beautiful the Carole King Musical is at Southend Cliffs Pavilion until Saturday. Call the box office on 01702 351135