The Tina Turner Musical – A night of Diva, Dancing and Drama Theatre Review
I haven’t been to the theatre is a really long time and as it always happens that my visits are like buses they all come at once. My friends know that I am a major theatre lover (at times boarding on addict) and will go to see nearly anything from musicals (geared at children) to the dark and moody underground plays, and in a group or alone.
After a period of being too busy to go and not having the time to dedicate to my normal hardcore ticket sourcing to get some of the sell-out dream tickets (such as Angels of America at the National as one example) I was really looking forward to getting back to the theatre. This theatre trip was organised ages ago with a friend as both of us love a good ballad and definitely both adore a good Diva and Tina Turner delivers all of that in real life.
The Tina Turner musical I hadn’t heard of much in advance of it having it debut in the London. The first I know of it was walking past the The Aldwych theatre and seeing the very iconic signs with Tina Turner and her great hair (major hair envy). I then saw some advertising around London to be completely honest wasn’t sure it it was Mamma Mia style where is just her music to unique imaginary story line or more like Motown and is the story of Tina Turner using her own music. I figured out it was the later as soon as the show started only.
Another confession is I am not a die-hard Tina Turner fan, I know the classics and you will have to restrain me from dancing to Proud Mary, River Deep and doing a really bad and loud singing of What has love got to do with it. In addition, I had flashbacks to an interview she did with her husband in south of France with Oprah to know a very small bit of her personal history. Ultimately this meant that this theatre trip was also about exploring the world of Tina Turner, both her life history and also her very large back catalogue of music.
I will not go into the ins and outs of her story and therefore the plot of the musical as either you already know and can google or I am giving major plots away. I was surprise but some of it, I definitely didn’t know much about her youth and her family dynamics as a child. It keeps you hooked and intrigued to see how they will deliver the story and what parts they will cover.
In terms of the music all the songs you expect to hear are there and more. I did find it brilliant that alongside the normal announcement to turn your phones off they also tell you not to sing along as the audience have paid to hear the actor sign not you (paraphrasing a little bit there but the general message). They just know how good the songs are and that it just makes you want to sign and dance along. I definitely wasn’t sitting still during some of the songs and very much joined in at the end where they get everyone up to dance and sign (even going back and doing a few of the songs from earlier in the play that you really wished you could of sang along to).
The actress who plays Tina is amazing, I was just in awe of her from the moment she came on stage. Such a great voice, energy and really does embodies Tina without the normal impersonator more an true dedication to all that Tina is. I don’t have a clue how she is doing eight shows a week, it was very clear how fit she was but even then she had boundless energy start to finish and never dipped. She was able to deliver the very high octane songs such as Proud Mary but also come down and really act out the truly horrid hardships that Tina had in her life.
In addition not an easy part to play was the actor who had to portray Ike, and all the demons that he was facing. They were great together and really tried to get that dynamic right. The entire cast were really good, normally you can pick out a weaker performance but it was a well balanced ensemble.
I entered the theatre feeling tired and stressed after a very hard day at work and even from our surprisingly good seats in the Grand Circle (aka the Gods but Aldwych is a great theatre there is a good view even higher up) I came out of the theatre as if I had only been there for short time, buzzing, wanting to dance and definitely an instant need to get Tina Turner’s best hits on to going on my phone to continue singing to on way home. It was a great night and delivered great music, drama and dancing and really showcased the extremely unsung story and music of one of the great rock music divas Tina Turner. I highly recommend you to go see it, I got tickets for under £40 and they were well worth the price, so organise an evening out with friends, take your parents or go alone to just light your soul there is nothing like theatre and especially with that level of performance, (prepare for the pun) it is simply the best (well not the best musical ever but one of the best currently on offer in the West End – have to be honest -hehe!).