Verdict: Four stars

THE great songwriter can often fade into the background when a singer takes the spotlight to perform their song.

But in rare cases, the world of music can appreciate a songwriter, especially when they propel themselves onto the stage like Carole King.

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The musical Beautiful explores her rise to fame against the backdrop of all the timeless songs she composed with her husband Gerry Goffin.

The audience is introduced to a young Carole, who when she falls in love with Gerry, forms the artistic duo behind classics like Will You Love Me Tomorrow, Take Good Care of My Baby and Some Kind of Wonderful.

The musical, which began life in 2013 in San Francisco, also explores the complicated relationship between the pair and their eventual marriage breakdown.

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But it is the music at the heart of their relationship that unveils the story of Carole King.

Bronte Barbe took on the role of the songstress and owned the stage as she portrayed an awkwardly shy woman with a big voice.

She was likeable and vulnerable at the same time, and the audiences instantly took to her. She captured the essence of Carole King and delivered on the big vocals - especially on the hit (You Make Me Feel Like) a Natural Woman.

A standing ovation was well deserved for the actress whose outstanding performance was only made possible thanks to a talented supporting cast.

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Kane Oliver Parry lived up to his role as Carole's womanising husband Gerry. He oozed sex appeal and his vocals complemented Bronte's stunning voice.

An audience favourite were fellow songwriters Cynthia Weil, played by Amy Ellen Richardson and Barry Mann, portrayed by Matthew Gonsalves. They brought in the comedy value and reminded audiences of a time when songwriters were so talented, their words left you with goosebumps.

The supporting cast portrayed the great acts of the day in spectacular style and transported the audience to an era when people lived to hear the next great record. The Drifters were a particular highlight of the show and brought their own style of cool to the stage.

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Prior to the show, I thought the musical numbers would be the one thing that stood out for me. But in reality it was Bronte who blew me away and made me leave the show wanting to know more about the great Carole King. She is a talented musical theatre actress and has the ability to capture an audience to tell a great story.

Catch Beautiful: The Carole King musical at The King's Theatre until Saturday.