- Dress Circle Reviews
Tina - The Tina Turner Musical
Tina - The Tina Turner musical is a show about, as the title suggests, Tina Turner’s life. It charts her life from her childhood through to her million dollar solo record deal and subsequent sellout arena tours.
Starting with her early life and “Nutbush City Limits” (which she wrote herself) it moves through her life focusing very much on the struggles and hardships she endured in her personal life with limited focus on the earlier commercial successes (which to a large extent she didn’t benefit from). It’s not about the star, but about what happened on that journey to becoming a star. It’s told from Tina’s point of view and is very much a story about perseverance, determination and talent fighting against misogony, racism and ageism. There are some really hard-hitting violent scenes, particularly in the first act, which make you feel deeply for her.
This is an intimate portrait of Tina’s life and is different to what people normally see of her. I feel it’s brave of her to tell this story and it gives you an insight into her life you certainly would never have got in the 1970’s.
The cast of the show are fantastic and really embrace the story. Aisha Jawando truly embodies Tina and plays her with warmth, tenderness and strength. It’s always difficult playing a real person (especially one who is so famous and part of the creative team) but she smashes it. She is joined by an exceptional cast and there is not a weak link among them.
Obviously many people go for the music and talking about her life means it’s easier to have the songs fits into the show than other single artist Jukebox Musicals such as Mamma Mia and Viva Forever (see our comments on Jukebox musicals here https://www.dresscirclereviews.com/post/in-defence-of-jukebox-musicals). If you are there just for the music you won’t leave disappointed. All the hits are here including many you may have forgotten. At the beginning of the show there is an announcement not to sing along (I imagine that has been a problem with this show and there are certain other shows which this needs to be implemented for) but as the show hits the energetic finale Tina encourages the audience onto their feet to join in with “Nutbush City Limits” and “Proud Mary”. After an effecting story it ensures an uplifting ending (as well as sneakily ensuring every show gets a standing ovation) and the audience leaves the auditorium singing and dancing.
We struggled with what rating we felt this deserved. While the finale really lifts the show meaning you leave on a real high overall there were parts of the show that struggled to draw the audience in and so we give this three Laura Michelle-Kelly stars. Get tickets from the official website here: https://tinathemusical.com/uk/calendar/