Home grown and beautiful: Esther Hannaford to play Carole King in new musical

Thank god it’s Esther!

Esther Hannaford will star in Beautiful The Carole King Musical. Photo Nathan Johnson.
Esther Hannaford will star in Beautiful The Carole King Musical. Photo Nathan Johnson.
She gave us Ann Darrow in King Kong, Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, Bonnie-Mae in Miracle City, Penny Pingleton in Hairspray and now, multi-award winning actor, singer and musical theatre star Esther Hannaford has been confirmed as the leading lady in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical! 

Hannaford has collected a Helpmann Award, a Green Room award and a Sydney Theatre Award for her work on Australian stages throughout her career and Australian audiences will be in for a treat to see one of our home-grown talents starring in this beautiful show.

The Tony Award winning musical is based on Carole King’s remarkable rise to stardom, opening in New York in 2014 and in London in 2015, making stars of its leading ladies. Hannaford will play the legendary singer / songwriter in the upcoming Australian premiere production, set to begin performances at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre in September 2017, and producer Michael Cassel is sure Aussie audiences will fall in love with Hannaford in this role.

“We hoped to find an actress who could capture the indomitable soul and gentle spirit of Carole King, whilst delivering some of the biggest and most iconic songs of the last century”, Cassel said.

“In Esther Hannaford we’ve found our star – an accomplished performer who brings a delicate balance of warmth, humour and vulnerability to the stage which we know will strike a chord with audiences.”

Director Marc Bruni echoed the sentiments of Cassell, adding: “The role of Carole King requires a unique and prodigious set of acting and vocal talents, and Esther Hannaford has them all. She’s a world-class performer, and we’re thrilled to welcome her into the Beautiful family to launch the Australian premiere production.”

As groundbreaking music icon Carole King celebrates her 75th birthday, the Broadway sensation based on her remarkable rise to stardom is thrilled to announce its leading lady.

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical is the true story of the legendary singer’s journey from schoolgirl songwriter to international superstar, including her relationship with husband and song-writing partner Gerry Goffin and their close friendship and playful rivalry with fellow song-writing duo Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.

The show features an array of beloved songs written by Gerry Goffin/Carole King and Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil including ‘You’ve Got a Friend’, ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’, ‘It’s Too Late’, ‘Locomotion’ and more.

Carole King celebrates her 75th birthday this week, and announcing Esther Hannaford as the Australian star of her biopic musical production is a fantastic way to celebrate!

Further casting will be confirmed at a later date.

Tickets are now on sale from beautifulmusical.com.au.

Erin James

Erin James is AussieTheatre.com's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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