Everything you need to know about 'Tina - The Tina Turner Musical' in London

Will Longman
Will Longman

Tina Turner transformed rock and roll. But, do you know much about the singer? Tina - The Tina Turner Musical, the show based on Tina Turner's career is going down a storm at the Aldwych Theatre. Here's a taste of what you can expect from the world premiere production of Tina - The Tina Turner Musical currently running in London.

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What is Tina - The Tina Turner Musical about?

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical dramatises the life and career of Tina Turner, acknowledging both the highs and lows. Tina Turner was born Anna Mae Ruddock in a tiny Southern town called Nutbush, Tennessee, Anna was born in 1939 on the farm where her father was an overseer of the sharecroppers. Anna had an older sister, Ruby Aillene, but they were separated as their parents moved help during the war, and Anna moved in with her strict parents in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The family returned to Nutbush, but when Anna was 11, her mother ran away to flee her abusive relationship with Floyd Bullock. After relocating again, Anna went to high school in Brownsville where she joined the local cheerleading and basketball teams. Here, she got her first boyfriend, Harry Taylor, but the relationship ended when she found out he had married another woman. After graduating high school, she became a nurse's aide, with the hope of one day becoming a nurse.

Anna and her sister enjoyed spending nights in St. Louis nightclubs, in particular, Club Manhattan on the east side of town. There, Ike Turner and his band Kings of Rhythm would perform. Tina has described being in awe of the performances and one night, she was invited on stage to perform, eventually becoming a guest vocalist.

Her break came in 1960 when, after the original performer didn't show up, Ike let Anna record a track he had written, with the intention that the original artist would re-record the vocals at a later date. However, record label executive Juggy Murray liked "A Fool in Love" so much, he paid $25,000 for the track, and convinced Ike to make Anna the star of the show. He did, giving her a pseudonym - Tina Turner - so she could be replaceable and effectively a role played by someone else if need be.

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When did Tina - The Tina Turner Musical premiere?

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical received its world premiere at London's Aldwych Theatre. Performances began on 21 March 2018, ahead of an opening night on 17 April.

Who wrote Tina - The Tina Turner Musical?

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical features a book by Katori Hall, Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins. Katori Hall is an American playwright and activist, whose works include Our Lady of Kibeho and The Mountaintop.

Although she did not write the book for Tina - The Tina Turner Musical, Tina Turner is greatly involved in the musical's creation. At a launch event in London, Tina Turner declared the project took her "out of retirement", with director Phyllida Lloyd regularly flying to Switzerland to talk through the musical with Tina herself.

Who wrote the songs in Tina - The Tina Turner Musical?

As Tina - The Tina Turner Musical is a jukebox musical, songs in the show are taken from Tina Turner's glittering music career. Did you know that Tina Turner's records have been sold over 100 million times, making her one of the most successful artists of all time? Original songwriters include Lulu for "I Don't Wanna Fight", Al Green for "Let's Stay Together" and Sly Stone for "I Want To Take You Higher."

Who is in the cast of Tina - The Tina Turner Musical?

The current Tina the Musical cast includes Elesha Paul Moses as Tina Turner, Caleb Roberts as Ike Turner and Kristina Love as alternate Tina.

Paula Kay plays Tina’s mother Zelma Bullock, Charis Alexandra plays Tina’s sister Alline Bullock, George Jennings plays Tina’s Manager Roger Davies, Irene Myrtle Forrester plays Tina’s Grandmother, Kelly Hampson plays Ike and Tina’s manager Rhonda Graam, Gregory Haney plays Tina’s father Richard Bullock, Cordell Mosteller plays Tina’s first love Raymond Hill, Chris Grahamson plays Record Producer Phil Spector and Lyricist Terry Britten and Joseph Richardson plays record company Marketing Manager Erwin Bach.

Megan Armstrong, Vanessa Dumatey, Thomas Sutcliffe, Turrell Barrett-Wallace, Joey James, Karis Anderson, Marie Finlayson, Natorii Illidge, Lauren Allan, Richard Appiah-Sarpong, Joshua Da Costa, Miles Anthony Daley, Amber Sylvia Edwards, Livvy Evans, Imogen Rose Hart, Jaz Robinson, Brad Veitch, Saran Webb and Samuel J Weir complete the adult cast.

The children’s cast currently comprises Isabella Francis, Tia Roche and Maya Parks as young Anna Mae, Cece Somolu, Kizzy Murrell and Eden Butcher as Young Alline, and Spencer Salami Jhobe Duncan and Cohen March as young Craig.

Who was in the original cast of Tina - The Tina Turner Musical?

The original Tina - The Tina Turner Musical cast starred Adrienne Warren as Tina, handpicked by the Queen of Rock and Roll herself. Warren is an American actress, who'd previously earned a Tony Award nomination for Shuffle Along at the Music Box Theatre.

In initial workshops, she impressed Turner who said: "From the moment I met her... I saw her exceptional talent." You could say Warren is pretty chuffed with the role, too. She said: "Meeting and working with Tina is and will always be one of the great moments of my life". We're pretty sure she's got what it takes to play the rock 'n' roll legend, can't wait to see her on stage.

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith originated the role of Ike Turner, who was awarded an MBE in 2020 for services to Drama.

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What is the running time of Tina - The Tina Turner Musical?

The running time for Tina - The Tina Turner Musical in London is 2 hours and 45 minutes, inclusive of 1 15 minute interval. Matinee performances begin at 2:30pm or 3:00pm, and evening performances begin at 7:30pm.

What songs are in Tina - The Tina Turner Musical?

Tina Turner's recording career has spanned five decades, selling over 100 million records worldwide. All of Tina Turner's greatest songs are in the musical, including "Proud Mary" and "What's Love Got to Do With It". Here are all the songs in Tina - The Tina Turner Musical. Find out more about Tina - The Tina Turner Musical songs.

Act 1

"Nutbush City Limits" - Richard, Young Tina and Company
"Don't Turn Around" - Tina, Gran Georgeanna and Company
"Shake a Tail Feather" - Alline, Tina, Ikettes and Company
"The Hunter" - Ike and Ronnie
"Matchbox" - Ike, Tina and Company
"It's Gonna Work Out Fine" - Zelma, Ike, Tina, Alline, Ikettes and Company
"A Fool in Love" - Tina and Ikettes
"Let's Stay Together" - Raymond and Tina
"Better Be Good to Me" - Tina and Company
"I Want to Take You Higher" - Tina, Alline and Ikettes
"River Deep Mountain High" - Tina and Company
"Be Tender with Me Baby" - Ike, Tina, Alline, Ikettes, Ronnie and Richard
"Proud Mary" - Tina, Ike, Alline and Ikettes
"I Don't Wanna Fight" - Tina and Company

Act 2

"Private Dancer" - Tina
"Disco Inferno" - Tina and Company
"Open Arms" - Rhonda, Tina and Company
"I Can't Stand the Rain" - Tina, Ike and Company
"Tonight" - Young Tina, Gran Georgeanna, Tina and Roger
"What's Love Got to Do with It?" - Tina, Ikettes, Ronnie and Raymond
"We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)" - Tina and Company
"The Best" - Tina and Company
"Nutbush City Limits (Reprise)" - Company
"Proud Mary (Reprise)" - Company

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What awards has Tina - The Tina Turner Musical won?

After wowing audiences, Tina - The Tina Turner Musical seemed to be a shoe-in for theatre awards. Both in the United Kingdom and for the Broadway transfer, Tina - The Tina Turner Musical has taken home awards, guaranteeing the musical's longevity on both side of the ponds. Here's all the awards that global productions of Tina the Musical has won.

Olivier Awards

Best Actor in a Musical - Kobna Holdbrook-Smith as Ike Turner

Tony Awards

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical - Adrienne Warren

What are some fun facts about Tina Turner and the Tina Turner musical?

  • Before a Broadway transfer, Tina - The Tina Turner Musical had a German premiere at the Stage Operettenhaus in Hamburg, Germany.
  • Nyassa Alberta has starred in the German and Dutch productions of Tina, making her the first actress to play the role in two languages.
  • Tina Turner has won 12 Grammy Awards to date.
  • Tina Turner received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1986.

How do I get tickets for Tina - The Tina Turner Musical?

Imagine you're at the best West End concert around at Tina - The Tina Turner Musical. Get your Tina - The Tina Turner Musical tickets now.

Book Tina - The Tina Turner Musical tickets on London Theatre.

LT - CTA - 250

Photo credit: Tina - The Tina Turner Musical (Photos courtesy of Manuel Harlan)

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