The music of James Taylor and Carole King is the inspiration for You’ve Got A Friend, the new show written and produced by Dean Elliott.
The production comes to The Hawth, Crawley, on Sunday, June 19.
“It was my vision to create something about those two in particular,” says Dean.
“And it has proved an incredible show. You never know how things are going to pan out. You always do your best. You write it out, you plan where the songs are going to go and which songs you are going to use, and then you take a step back… which is easier for me with this one because I am not actually in it.
“And I am so pleased with the way it has worked out.
“This is a lot more of a concert presentation than with (Dean’s other show) The Simon & Garfunkel Story. There the songs are so famous. With this one you can rely on being able to use the songs rather than use the story line. We do them in a sort of chronological order so that they do tell a story in a way, but you do also get to see them grow both in their own music and in their collaborations together. They were never a couple. They were just very good friends, and they both wrote amazing songs and helped each other out.
“My vision for it was that the set is a living room, and it is very much as if you have been invited to their house.
“One thing you get when you listen to their music is that it is like a great big warm hug. It is such comforting music and beautifully written.
“And for us, the emphasis is very much on getting it as close to the originals as possible. The sound is just like James Taylor and Carole King, and there is context provided. We find out about the songs and about the people.
“It is not just a jukebox musical. It is about the songs, and it is a very accurate representation of the people as well… and we find that the music moves people so much.
“Both of them were people, if I am being brutally honest, who struggled with life. James Taylor was a heroin addict and an alcoholic and he suffered with depression. Although his songs are not obviously miserable, he found somewhere deep in his soul to write, and you know that some of the best books and some of the best songs are written at the lowest points of the human condition. And he finds himself in that position.
“Carole King was a bit the same. With her husband she wrote songs for The Drifters, Herman’s Hermits and The Monkees and people like that, but their private life was falling apart. (King’s album) Tapestry reflects a lot of that, the fact that he used to cheat on her and that he didn’t treat her very well.
“These songs really come from that level as well.
“I think Carole King and James Taylor both met around about that time, not as a couple, but they were both creating songs from that kind of starting point.”
Tickets for the show cost £19. Call 01293 553636, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.hawth.co.uk.
To find out more visit www.youvegotafriendshow.com.
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