Having opened at London’s Aldwych Theatre back in April, Tina is an energetic jukebox musical that celebrates the life and music of the legend that is Tina Turner (played here by American performer Adrienne Warren)
It starts by taking the audience back to the singer’s humble beginnings in Nutbush, Tennessee where Tina – born Anna Mae Bullock – meets her soon to be husband, Ike Turner, at one of his concerts.
Anna Mae gets brought up onto the stage and, though she’s young, her vocals are powerful and sublime. Ike notices her talent and asks her mother’s permission to take her on tour with him as a featured singer for Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm.
When recording songs, Ike and the producers thought it would sell more records if Anna Mae changed her name so that people believed the pair were married. Anna Mae was already in a relationship but she went along with it to help the record achieve greater success.
Tina Turner the Musical shares the story of how turbulent Ike and Tina’s relationship was, with Ike’s fiery temper leaving band members and Tina herself unable to stand up to him.
The narrative switches seamlessly between stage and private life, with Tina having two children (one with Raymond Hill, the band’s saxophonist, with whom she was in a relationship with, and another with Ike).
All the old Tina favourites are featured including It’s Gonna Work Out Fine, A Fool in Love and River Deep Mountain High, which Warren performs with pitch perfect precision.
The second half of the show sees Tina trying to make it as a solo performer and desperately trying to earn money to make ends meet.
She takes a risk and flies to London where she has a few weeks to record an album with a more rock sound. Met with pushbacks, Tina shows her drive and determination to make it as a singer without the help from her now ex-husband Ike.
The show ends with an encore of Tina’s most successful songs to date, treating audience members to The Best, as well as a reprise of Nutbush City Limits and Proud Mary, which sees the audience on their feet and singing along to the iconic tracks.
Overall, The Tina Turner Musical is a great success, with the vocals, story and tracks taking theatregoers through an emotional rollercoaster of how Tina became the success she is today.