Arcola Creative Engagement

Beautiful (not the Carole King Musical)

Created by the company, from an original idea by Paul O’Donnell

Directed by: Nick Connaughton, with Paul O’Donnell

“Tommy used to work on the docks / Union’s been on strike / He’s down on his luck / It’s tough, so tough…”

Beautiful (not the Carole King Musical) returns for one day only, after a triumphant first run earlier this year as part of the Creative/Disruption 17, to tell the tragic story of a docker, a waitress and their forbidden love for one another.

Featuring the immortal music of Sir Jon Bon Jovi*, this joyous musical extravaganza arrives with 12 Olivier nominations including Best New Musical** and universal critical acclaim***.

It takes a sideways look at the pomp and circumstance of modern jukebox musicals, and asks us to question if the art of imagination is being lost to machinery, illusion and extravagance.

Co-created with performance artist Paul O’Donnell (Associate Artist at Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Theatre Absolute, Coventry), Beautiful is the latest production from Arcola’s acclaimed performance company for older adults.

* Jon Bon Jovi will not appear in person; Jon Bon Jovi is not an actual Sir.
** Not guaranteed, but if there is any justice in the world, this show will at least take home Best Design.
*** Critical response is subjective.

This performance is a special fundraiser to support the development of Arcola’s acclaimed community performance company for older adults. Running since 2009, Arcola 50+ have staged productions and events at Arcola, across Dalston, and even performed at the Tate Modern, V&A and Glastonbury Music Festival. They have also worked with companies such as Punchdrunk and Kali Theatre.  Proceeds from this performance will allow the group to continue to grow, offering a new workshop and production strand, allowing more people to join the company. Read our blog post.