Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

Aldwych Theatre
Aldwych, London

Previewed: 21 March 2018
Opened: 17 April 2018
Booking to: 21 December 2019

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Theatre seating plan

Show times:
Monday at 7.30pm
Tuesday at 7.30pm
Wednesday at 7.30pm
Thursday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Friday at 7.30pm
Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sunday no shows

Runs ? hours and ? minutes

Seat prices
£? to £?
(plus booking fees if applicable)

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From Nutbush in Tennessee, to her transformation into the global Queen of Rock'n'Roll - this brand new stage musical reveals the untold story Tina Turner who dared to defy the bounds of her age, gender and race.

Directed by Phyllida Lloyd with choreography by Anthony Van Laast, designs by Mark Thompson, projections by Jeff Sugg, lighting by Bruno Poet and sound by Nevin Steinberg. Written by Katori Hall, Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins and presented in association with Tina Turner.

"It is not about my stardom. This is about the journey that I took to get there." - Tina Turner

When this production opened here London's Aldwych Theatre in April 2018, Michael Billington in the Guardian praised "this terrific show... [that] offers a heady celebration of triumph over adversity", adding that "while recording Tina’s troubles, the show is anything but a sob story since it is a tribute to her gutsiness and drive... As biomusicals go, this is as good as it gets." Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph described it as being a "slickly choreographed, beautifully designed and roof-raisingly well-sung bio-musical about Tina Turner, charting the R&B turned rock goddess’s progress from Nutbush, Tennessee via the school of hard-knocks to the tip-top of her profession: ... the empowering trajectory affirms how a talented female artist found the resolve to go it alone, and reaped the benefits." Neil Norman in the Daily Express exclaimed: "What a show! What power! Phyllida Lloyd’s dazzling production has you in its grip throughout... Katori Hall’s script is smart and sassy, making connections that draw together the loose threads of Tina’s life... It is a great story, well told." Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail highlighted that "this show is a great deal better than most jukebox musicals. It is not just a collection of hit songs interspersed with prosaic dialogue. The music has been moulded to fit the story of Anna-Mae Bullock (as she was born in 1939) and her rise from a broken home in Tennessee." Fiona Mountford in the London Evening Standard wrote: "The big wheels of the musicals industry keep on turning, and who better to power a high-profile new show than the queen of rock and roll herself, Tina Turner?... What a pity, then, that this musical never fully sparks into life. The creative team boasts impeccable credentials... yet the material surprisingly lacks rigour, too often staying in soft-focus when a more forensic examination is required." Paul Taylor in the i Newspaper said that "even folk who are inclined to be sniffy about jukebox musicals will be overwhelmed by this one. It has everything going for it. There are the riches of Tina Turner's back catalogue. There is the inspiring story of an African American woman who was able to overcome adversity and go on to reach the pinnacle of her profession... This is not to say that the show is without shortcomings, however. Katori Hall's book feels like a brisk summary of events, as it hops too evenly from one episode to another." Ian Shuttleworth in the Financial Times explained how "the songs themselves do not stick to chronological order, but are used as they should be in a stage musical, to illuminate particular points of the story... alas, there’s no nuance at all. Tina is first a martyr then the exalted mistress of her own desires; all the blame lies with other parties... I’ve never seen a more one-sided portrait in a show like this." Ann Treneman in The Times explained how "this is a great show... that reaches the parts most bio-theatre doesn't touch. The key here is that this isn't the Tina Turner story but the tale of one Anna Mae Bullock from Nutbush, Tennessee. This is what gives it heart and soul, as well as more than a bit of rock’n’roll... this musical tells it like it is."

Phyllida Lloyd's West End credits include the ABBA musical Mamma Mia! currently playing at the Novello Theatre; Friedrich Schiller's play Mary Stuart at the Donmar Warehouse and transfer to the Apollo Theatre in 2005; and David Mamet's play Boston Marriage at the Donmar Warehouse and transfer to the Ambassadors Theatre in 2001. Katori Hall's London theatre credits include the Martin Luther King play The Mountaintop at the Trafalgar Studios in 2009.

"As big, noisy, uncomplicated musicals go, it’s a lot of fun. The story by Katori Hall, with Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins, follows the incredible highs and lows of her life closely — and there were some very serious lows indeed, from being forced to go on stage by her bullying first husband, Ike, when pregnant and just out of hospital, to attempted suicide with 50 Valium pills. For a time in the 1970s she seemed completely finished. She couldn’t even get a record deal. But she went on to reinvent herself for a new generation in 1980s London, with a slew of synth-based, big-hair crowdpleasers... In pacing and treatment, the story unfolds like a rather melodramatic soap opera, some scenes going by in a bewildering flash. At one point, Ike apparently fires a gun at her through a window — a scene that lasts about five seconds, and then we’re into the next one. ... despite the simplistic feel to the storytelling, there’s masses to enjoy here. The 1960s performances feature swirling psychedelics like one of Bridget Riley’s migraines, and the costumes are terrific, with a distinct emphasis on shimmery little gold minidresses, a definite improvement on the frumpy Fifties frocks of the earlier scenes... Although you might long for more subtlety and insight at times, this is still high old entertainment, and will no doubt run for years." The Sunday Times

"There are too many great tunes in Tina Turner's incredible career for her to fade away - and this new show celebrates all their foot stomping glory. Following her from humble beginnings to global stardom, it kicks off in the childhood of the then Annie Mae Bullock, a small girl with a huge voice. As soon as she starts to sing, the electricity in the air crackles. Making this story tug at the heart strings is a brilliant cast clad in gorgeous costumes, and buzzing with the kind of choreography that makes you want to get up and dance. The darkness in Tina's real-life story, including the abuse she suffered at the hands of husband Ike make her eventual triumph, both against Ike, and those in the record business who doubted her, all the sweeter. A raw, powerful, rollercoaster of a show." The Sunday Mirror

"The story that begins in Nutbush, Tennessee, where Tina - then Anna Mae Bullock - was born, is a whirlwind tour of the star's life. And in truth Katori Hall's script often feels like an exercise in box-ticking. Humble beginnings singing gospel among the cotton fields, tick! A violent dad, tick! Neglectful mum, tick! Then she is discovered by singer-songwriter Ike, battered and bullied by him, escapes and struggles as a solo singer and single mum. Redemption and musical reinvention arrive in the form of Australian manager Roger Davies. Tick, tick, tick, tick... As for the singing, it's astonishing. River Deep, Mountain High is sung with an amazing command of power and finesse. So is We Don't Need Another Hero, Nutbush City Limits and the delicate Private Dancer, all of which director Phyllida Lloyd expertly interweaves into the story as she did Abba songs for the musical Mamma Mia!. The show reaches its thrilling height when it succumbs to the temptation to be a Tina Turner gig." The London Metro

The *original* London West End cast featured Adrienne Warren as 'Tina Turner' and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith as 'Ike', with Madeline Appiah as 'Zelma' (Tina's mother), Lorna Gayle as 'Gran Georgeanna' (Tina's grandmother), and Tom Godwin as 'Phil Spector' / 'Terry Britten', along with Francesca Jackson as 'Rhonda', Aisha Jawando as 'Alline' / 'Ikette', Natey Jones as 'Richard' / 'Raymond', Gerard McCarthy as 'Erwin Bach', Ryan O’Donnell as 'Roger', Kit Esuruoso as 'Craig', Jason Langley as 'Carpenter' / 'Martyn Ware', Baker Mukasa as 'Ronnie', Tsemaye Bob-Egbe as 'Ikette', Perola Congo as 'Ikette', Sia Kiwa as 'Ikette', Derek Aidoo, Gavin Alex, Edward Bourne, Keisher Downie, Candace Furbert, Jemma Geanaus, Hannah Jay-Allan, Jammy Kasongo, Kayleigh McKnight and Rodney Vubya. Jenny Fitzpatrick as 'Tina Turner', at some performances, normally Monday evenings and Thursday matinee performances.

This is the second 'Tina Turner' musical to be presented in London's West End. The first was Pete Brooks and John Miller's Soul Sister - which told the story of musical legends Ike and Tina Turner - and featured Emi Wokoma in the title role. This was presented at the Hackney Empire in East London in April 2012 before it transferred to the West End's Savoy Theatre in August 2012 where it played a five week season.

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical in London at the Aldwych Theatre previewed from 21 March 2018 and opened on 17 April 2018