Laura Baldwin on The Importance of Female Led Musicals | Beautiful: The Carole King Musical | Interview

A jukebox musical with a book by Douglas McGrath, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical tells the story of the life and career of Carole King, using the songs she wrote as well as others by people she knew or were influential in her life. 

Taking on the role of one of these, is Laura Baldwin who plays Cynthia Weil, King's best friend and writing rival. Having previously starred in Waitress, Laura is no stranger to female led stories, she sat down to tell us why these stories are so important and what people can expect from this musical...


Give us the lowdown on Beautiful, what can we expect?
Well you can expect a story of what went on behind the music surrounding the life of Carole King, told by an AMAZING cast. You’ll hear incredibly nostalgic songs and hopefully you’ll leave feeling elated, inspired and a little bit warm inside.


Whats your favourite song from Beautiful and why?
God that is SO hard! The Locomotion is definitely up there but it has to be Walking in The Rain. It’s just such a stunning song and it feels so lovely to sing.


You’re playing Cynthia Weil, what do you draw from in your own life and what research do you do to play a real person?
So Cynthia Weil is the first character I’ve played that I don’t feel anything alike. I couldn’t find any similarities for a while so that was a new challenge for me. It did however feel really refreshing to become someone completely different and, play parts of her that don’t come naturally to me. Now we’re well into the run I do see myself in her, like I love making people laugh, so does she! We’re both very ambitious and love our work. It was great to finally identify with her in some way. 

I researched lots about Cynthia! I watched so many interviews and we talked extensively with Ed Goggin our director, all about the characters lives and motives throughout the show. I wanted to make sure I do her justice!! Hopefully I’m doing enough!


You previously starred in Waitress, another musical about female empowerment, what do you think makes these musicals so important and special?
Because we need women to be seen as the hero’s that they are and have always been! Waitress was a human story and Beautiful is a real life story, both with an underdog message. The characters find strength from within and that is always incredibly special to watch. Sara Bareilles is a power house as is Carole King. Their stories and music should be heard simply because of the talent behind them. I am honoured to be a small part of their work and portray the characters that are so dear to them, and inspiring to women and to everyone.


If a musical was going to be made about your life, who would you like to play you?
Oh Amy Adam’s or Kristen Wig just because I love them!!


What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring performers?
Keep the gorgeous people around you who lift you up! ALWAYS treat yourself after an audition. You will constantly struggle to balance everything and things will get hard but that’s okay. There will be highs and lows but the lows make it worth it. Stay humble, find ways to reconnect with yourself, book the holiday and know that your career doesn’t define you. I also feel like being yourself is HUGE and the moment I started accepting my weird crazy self, everything started to fall into place :) stay strong! x


Beautiful: The Carole King Musical plays at the New Victoria Theatre until 22nd February before continuing its tour

Interview by Editor, Olivia Mitchell

photo credit: Helen Maybanks

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