Carole King surprises West End cast of Beautiful as show celebrates second birthday

  • Lorna Want, Ian McIntosh, Carole King, Cassidy Janson, Matthew Seadon-Young, Barbara Drennan and Joseph Prouse. Picture: Craig Sugden

Music legend Carole King delighted cast and audience last night when she made a second visit to the West End production of Beautiful.

She was greeted by a standing ovation when she joined the cast for the curtain call at the end of the performance. And at the same time there was extra cause for celebration with the announcement that a further 130,000 tickets had been made available for the multi-award winning show which has now extended booking until November.

Following her surprise appearance on the Aldwych stage, King performed her classic track ‘You’ve Got a Friend’ to the sell-out crowd.

Commenting on her showstopping visit, King said: “I was so excited to surprise the cast, they genuinely had no idea, nobody knew! CJ [Cassidy Janson who plays King in the musical] literally brought me to tears this evening with her performance of ‘Natural Woman’.  She was who I was, she felt what I felt. She was me!”

King’s visit came just weeks after the production celebrated the Olivier, Tony and Grammy award winner’s second birthday in London’s West End. As previously announced, a UK touring production is due to launch in September.

The West End cast is led by Cassidy Janson in the lead role alongside Matthew Seadon-Young who plays King’s husband and songwriting partner Gerry Goffin; with Lorna Want as songwriter Cynthia Weil (a role for which she won the 2015 Olivier for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical); Ian McIntosh as songwriter Barry Mann; Joseph Prouse as music publisher and producer Donnie Kirshner; and Barbara Drennan as Genie Klein, King’s mother.

The cast also includes: Gavin Alex, Georgie Ashford, Koko Basigara, Tsemaye Bob-Egbe, Ashford Campbell, Treyc Cohn, Natasha Cottriall, Michael Duke, Matthew Gonsalves, Jammy Kasongo, Leigh Lothian, and Earl R. Perkins who play iconic musical performers and band members of the era. Swings include: Derek Aidoo, Rosie Heath, Dominic Hodson, Emma Louise Jones, Jessica Joslin, Vicki Manser, David O’Mahony and Jaime Tait.

Based on the early life and career of legendary singer/songwriter King, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical has a book by Douglas McGrath with words and music by Gerry Goffin, Carole King, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. The show is directed by Marc Bruni with choreography by Josh Prince, set designs by Derek McLane, costume designs by Alejo Vietti, lighting by Peter Kaczorowski and sound by Brian Ronan. Orchestrations and music arrangements are by Steve Sidwell.

Angela Thomas

Readers may also be interested in:

Carole King musical Beautiful to tour the UK in 2017 – News

Tickets for the West End production of Beautiful – The Carole King Musical are available HERE

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