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Previewed 20 August 2012, opened 23 August 2012, closed 29 September 2012 at the Savoy Theatre in London
The new musical about Ike and Tina Turner Soul Sister in London starring Emi Wokoma as 'Tina Turner' for a limited season.
The stunning new musical, Soul Sister tells the extraordinary story of musical legends Ike and Tina Turner, live on stage for the first time. Charting their electric first meeting and meteoric rise to fame through 1960s and 70s America, their turbulent marriage and Tina Turner's thrilling re-emergence as an international rock star and icon.
Experience all the greatest hits on stage, as you've never seen or heard them before. Featuring What's Love Got To Do With It, Simply The Best, Proud Mary, Private Dancer, River Deep Mountain High and many more, as this musical follows the highs and lows, the passions and heartbreak of Ike and Tina Turner as their careers blossomed and their marriage crumbled.
Devised by Pete Brooks and John Miller with the songs of Ike and Tina Turner. Directed by Bob Eaton with choreography by Jason Pennycooke, designs by Pete Brooks and Laura Hopkins, lighting by Nick Richings and sound by Ben Harrison. This production comes into London's West End following an acclaimed run at the Hackney Empire in East London (previewed from 14 April 2012, opened on 19 April 2012 and closed on 5 May 2012).
"The title is generic and, yes, the arrival of yet another jukebox musical is not usually enough to set the pulse racing. But this celebration of the life of Tina Turner turns out to be a triumphant marriage of exhilarating music, seductive staging and a sensational performance by the statuesque Emi Wokoma... Turner's career has already been given the Hollywood treatment in What's Love Got to Do With It? One virtue of John Miller and Pete Brooks's minimalist script is that it does its best to be fair to her much-maligned former husband, Ike Turner, a giant of R&B who emerges as much more than just a wife-beating pantomime villain... While the scene-setting is rudimentary enough, what gives the evening crucial energy is the ingenious use of video and graphic novel backdrops by Pete Brooks and the co-designer Laura Hopkins." The Times
"There is a perilously thin dividing-line between a play or a musical which purports to tell the story of a wellknown singer/ group of singers and a mere tribute act... A litmus test is whether or not audiences feel the need to applaud the big numbers: that should happen at concerts, but not in theatres. A certain amount of clapping did greet Emi Wokoma's renditions of River Deep, Mountain High, The Best and We Don't Need Another Hero, but, happily, the lady can also act....Chris Tummings portrays [Ike] as a cruel but also immensely charismatic boogeyman, and the chemistry between him and his singing canary often seems heartbreakingly real. Their performances are, however, demeaned by the comic book-type format that the directors employ to tell their story... Still, there is an engaging jauntiness to the proceedings, and, if you are into feelgood shows, then I fancy you will feel good about this one." The Sunday Telegraph
"Tina Turner tribute show Soul Sister is both made and saved by Emi Wokoma's sensational impersonation of the glamorous diva. With her electrified lion's-mane hairdo, skirt hem around her navel and thighs of teak, she is unforgettable. The voice is spot-on, although the face looks nothing like the same. But this is a performance infused with Ms Wokoma's own powerful, raw, gap-toothed personality, and that makes all the difference... Tina was discovered, groomed and promoted by her mentor Ike Turner, who married her and thought he owned her. This show tells how she eventually got out of the abusive marriage and crawled her way back up the bill from total career collapse to solo superstardom. The problem is never the songs - they are great. It's the script. Even by the decidedly unShakespearean standards of the compilation show genre, the dialogue here is lifeless, and Peter Brooks and Bob Eaton's storytelling clunks like a wooden leg... Ike is very well played by Chris Tummings - a fine guitarist to boot - with a huge shiny lacquer wig which turns into an afro as the production progresses... It's Tina we want and Tina we get, thanks to Emi Wokoma, who, in a series of costume changes, gives us a sparkling, big-lunged brand of glitz and high-octane raunchiness. She's simply the best even if the show isn't." The Mail on Sunday
Soul Sister in London at the Savoy Theatre previewed from 20 August 2012, opened on 23 August 2012 and closed on 29 September 2012.