From humble beginnings in Nutbush, Tennessee, to her transformation into the global Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Tina Turner didn’t just break the rules, she rewrote them. This new stage musical reveals the untold story of a woman who dared to defy the bounds of her age, gender and race.
Above is taken from the official website for the musical. We saw the musical at the start of February 2023. At the start of the musical they ask the audience to not sing along or dance during the performance and to sit and enjoy the story. We did. It starts with Tina about to walk on stage to sing Simply the Best a great tease to what will happen at the end but first it takes you back to the start of the story when a young Tina would sing in church.
It then moves on to when she was introduced to Ike Turner a relationship at first that seems OK but very quickly turns ugly. The musical does not shy away from the distressing scenes of abuse and at times it is difficult to watch but the musical gets the balance right in dealing and showing the abuse but not to detailed. Ahead of going to the musical we were aware that the marriage was not a good one but what we learned was about the relationship with her mother (or lack of it). Also what we learned is how the music industry were like back then. They admitted that Tina was a good singer but most of the record companies would not give her a contract due to the colour of her skin. To this day and just recently the colour of some ones skin has been an issue with the Bafta's being criticised for having all white winners.
The music was fantastic with the lady who played Tina sounding just like her. The hit songs we all know have been reworked to fit it well with all the moments in the musical just perfectly.
There are some really touching moments in the musical including this moment above involving Tina and her manager and then a very touching moment following the death of Tina's mother.
At the end of the musical we arrive at the moment that was teased to us at the start when Tina was about to go on stage to sing Simply the Best but this time it continues and here starts a mini concert at the end when the audience (including us) get up and sing along and dance along to the songs and clap along too.
If you love Tina Turner you will love this musical and you will learn a lot about her life. And what is good about the musical is it is presented in association with Tina Turner herself so you know it has her stamp of approval.
"It's really important to me to have the chance to share my full story. This musical is not about my stardom. It is about the journey I took to get there. Each night I want audiences to take away from the theatre that you can turn poison into medicine."TINA TURNER
Now playing at the Aldwych Theatre London.