SHE was the Fareham schoolgirl who dreamed of having her name up in lights as she watched a succession of ballets at Mayflower Theatre as a child.

Now Amy Ellen Richardson is starring in Beautiful The Carole King Musical, which stops in Southampton next week.

Amy, who has already taken to the Mayflower stage in White Christmas and Chicago, told the Daily Echo: "I just love coming back to the Mayflower. It feels like being able to bring it all home in a way. I've never forgotten my roots and it's lovely for family and friends to be able to pop over and see what I'm up to."

Amy's supportive mother, who ferried her around to lessons with Jean Marks School of Dance in Portsmouth, Fareham singing tutor Josephine Beckwith and Leigh Bushnell at the Mandaleigh Studios in Fareham as a youngster will be in the audience from her home in Fareham and her Gosport grandmother, who is in her mid 90s, will celebrate a birthday at the show, which sees Amy star as Cynthia Weil.

"I didn't really know the story well at all, but a couple of friends were in the show in London before the audition even came up so I went along and I just loved Cynthia.

"It's such a great story and Cynthia was so forward-thinking, a a real feminist, independent, sassy and chic with amazing clothes! It's a real joyous show!"

Beautiful – The Carole King Musical is the Olivier and Tony Award-winning West End and Broadway show which tells the story of a music icon.

Long before she was Carole King, the chart-topping music legend, she was an ordinary girl with an extraordinary talent.

Beautiful tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit song-writing team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history.

Along the way she wrote the soundtrack to a generation, including one of the best-selling albums of all time, Tapestry, and countless classics such as (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, Take Good Care of My Baby, You’ve Got a Friend, So Far Away, It Might as Well Rain Until September, Up on the Roof, and The Locomotion.

The show runs from September 26 to 30.

Tickets: 023 8071 1811 or visit