“YOU’VE got to get up every morning with a smile on your face and show the world all the love in your heart.”

It would take real strength of character to channel heartbreak into the hopeful optimism of those lines.

Carole King is the most successful female singer-songwriter of the 20th century, with more than 400 of her compositions recorded by 1,000 artists making 100 hit records. And the story of how she wrote them has opened at Mayflower Theatre.

The feel-good Beautiful: The Carole King Musical zips through the Brooklyn-born songwriter’s life while still conveying the poignancy of her back-catalogue. Tracing the arc of King’s career from the age of 17 – when she and first husband Gerry Goffin wrote heart-wrenching chart-topper Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow – it’s a candid and uncomplicated gambol through hit after hit, and has everyone leaving on a high.

Opening with the tender So Far Away, Bronte Barbe is utterly convincing as the naturally talented young composer.

Troubled husband Gerry is pitched exactly right by Kane Oliver Parry while the couple’s best friends, Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann – who wrote On Broadway and We’ve Got To Get Out of This Place among many other hits –are good-looking comics and vocally vivacious.

With plenty of killer one-liners, Douglas McGrath’s book ensures the action races along and we get the sadness of the demise of the King-Goffin relationship without lingering on it.

It’s more than worthy of the Southampton crowd’s standing ovation.

Rachel Adams