Wayne Tunks

There are some albums which transcend average popularity and become iconic, think “Thriller”, “Bat Out Of Hell” and “Jagged Little Pill”. Carole King’s “Tapestry” certainly belongs on that list. With amazing songs like, “You’ve Got a Friend”, “It’s Too Late” and “I Feel the Earth Move”, ever since its release in 1971, King’s opus has never been far from our minds.

So if there’s going to be a stage production celebrating the brilliant album, then you need an amazing cast to deliver these inspirational songs. In a perfect piece of casting, enter Aussie icon, Debra Byrne. Match her with one of the country’s strongest vocalists, Vika Bull; and you have a killer line up.

The show originally sold out in Melbourne and it seemed a formality that the show would remount with more dates and states added. Ready to perform at the Enmore Theatre on February 10, Debra Byrne chatted to us about the show and why she is excited to be a part of it.

“I love that genre of music. I have, like so many people, adored Carole King’s music for many years. Tapestry is a phenomenal album and so loved by so many people, and rightly so. I adore Carole King’s music.”

Not many albums have lasted the test of time quite like “Tapestry” with its beautiful songs and messages. We asked Byrne why she thought the album was so important and influential. “It struck such a chord with people, the honesty and the simplicity of the music and the lyric. It just speaks to the heart of people. Things like, “You’ve Got a Friend”, it is so simple in the message and it is just what people needed to hear. I think that album speaks directly to your heart.”

When the idea for the show was first presented to Byrne, she jumped at the chance to bring it to life. “I knew it would be a night of beautiful songs and music that would trigger memories. When we first talked about this, we knew it was like the soundtrack of people’s lives. It has so many songs that represent a time in your life. It’s a very reminiscent show.”

Besides the show featuring music of a music legend, the chemistry between the leads could make or break the show. “Vika is awesome, she’s great and so professional. I mean the two of us are very conscientious about what we’re doing. We’re old school, and we really care about our music. We’ve worked hard on our harmonises, we love the music so there’s a sense of pride in what we do. I love working with Vika, she’s so easy to work with.”

The beauty of the “Tapestry” show is that the music is put at the forefront, so what can the audience expect? “You would expect for the music to be presented well. That’s the most important thing for us to do is for us to perform it at our best, cause we all love the music and we all respect the writers. We don’t change them from the way Carole sings them, but because it’s two other women singing the songs you certainly do get a different sound.”

There’s a satisfaction from the cast and crew knowing that audiences have already seen the show and loved it. “We’ve had standing ovations every time we’ve done the show, people just love it. We can’t take all the credit, the credit goes to Carole King’s music.”

Byrne has been in the industry for a mammoth 50 years and done everything from TV to musicals and live performances, but just seeing her perform, you can tell that singing for an audience is her favourite. “It sure is, the interaction with the audience is the most beautiful experience you can have as a performer.”

“Tapestry: The Songs of Carole King” will plays Lizottes, Newcastle, Feb 8 & 9, Enmore Theatre, Sydney, Feb 10 and Anita’s Theatre, Wollongong, Feb 11.