WHEN, after years of darkness, the skies finally clear and they search through the ashes of the apocalypse, it will be cockroaches, single cell bacteria and Carole King songs that will be found to have survived.

Carole King wrote her first number one hit, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow by the Shirelles, at the age of 17 in collaboration with lyricist Gerry Goffin. Goffin and King soon married and became one of pop music's most famous song writing duos. Beautiful tells the story of their relationship and the incredible string of hits they wrote together.

Over 1,000 artist have interpreted Carole King songs and clocked up around 100 hit singles over the years. Chances are that you know and love a Carole King song even if you haven’t realised that she wrote it.

Beautiful has several “I didn’t know they wrote that” moments. Take Good Care If My Baby (Bobbie Vee), The Locomotion (Little Eva), Up On The Roof (The Drifters), Chains (The Beatles) and Pleasant Valley Sunshine (The Monkees) are just a few that you may not have realised were Goffin/King songs.

As an added bonus, Beautiful also features songs by another leading songwriting duo, Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann. Mann and Weil were rivals of Goffin and King in the race for hit records during the 60s and also became close friends. Although less well known than Goffin and King they wrote such massive hits as You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling (The Righteous Brothers) and Walking In The Rain (The Ronettes) with Phil Spector.

Act 1 of Beautiful is a fast and furious, song-packed celebration of Carole King’s meeting with Gerry Goffin and their rise to fame as the writers of massive hit records.

After the interval, during Act 2, the pace and mood changes somewhat as the Goffin/King relationship becomes strained and they eventually split up.

The emphasis then switches to Carole King’s career as a solo artist, when she began to sing her own material rather than writing for other people. The highlight of this part of her career was, of course, the Tapestry album, released in March 1972. Tapestry is one of the classic albums of the time and spent six years in the charts, selling over 25 million copies. Songs from Tapestry such as It’s Too Late, You’ve Got A Friend, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, and Beautiful are all featured.

The part of King is brilliantly played by Bronté Barbé, a finalist in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s BBC talent show Over The Rainbow. Her voice does the songs justice and she manages to capture the essence of King herself.

The supporting cast all produce strong performances contributing to a hugely enjoyable and entertaining show that received a standing ovation from an appreciative audience.

Beautiful is indeed beautiful and thoroughly recommended for a great night out that will leave you with a smile on your face, and perhaps a tear in your eye.

Beautiful - The Carole King Musical runs at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre until Saturday (June 16).

To book tickets, visit www.grandtheatre.co.uk.