Above – Ruva Ngwenya and Ikettes. Cover – Ruva Ngwenya. Photos – Daniel Boud

Adelaide is being rocked with a spectacular, respectful and celebratory tribute to an extraordinary woman. The real Tina Turner died a year ago, but her presence was palpable in this fabulous show. It is vibrant, loud, slick, energetic, loud, vigourous, loud and magnificent. Whatever your particular taste in music, this is an amazing piece of theatre not to be missed.

Ruva Ngwenya in the title role recreates the persona, the musician, the voice and the vitality of this dynamic rebel and trailblazer. Her strength, power, drive and bravura, as well as delicacy are amply demonstrated as the “River Deep, Mountain High” voice and personality that Tina Turner herself was. She is splendidly supported by an excellent cast, without exception showing meticulous coordination and exhausting energy in the exuberant choreography.

The support also comes from enormous creative, backstage and administrative teams, and a (mostly) off-stage band. The extensive use of back projection, the complex lighting, the fabulous costumes, the dexterous use of the revolve, and the many and subtle changes of set give the whole production an almost cinematographic feel as the story of Tina’s life and career unfolds. The only down side was that the rapid southern accents at high volume meant much of the dialogue was obfuscated or lost.

It is, nevertheless, an amazing story as we follow her, in song and dance, from her childhood in Tennessee as Anna Mae Bullock, through her changes of style and location, and her development as musician and performer as T T. We follow her through the highs and lows of loves, breaking relationships, survival of inter-generational cycle of domestic violence, rebounding after an attempt at suicide, to trailblazing and scaling the dizzy heights of achievement and world fame.

This is finely told story in a remarkable and memorable night of stunning theatre.

And your ears will recover.

Event details

Paul Dainty AO/TEG DAINTY in special collaboration with Stage Entertainment, Tali Pelman and Tina Turner
TINA : The Tina Turner Musical
by Katori Hall, Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins

Director Phyllida Lloyd

Venue: Adelaide Festival Theatre | King William Road Adelaide SA
Dates: 1 May 2024 – 31 May 2024
Bookings: ticketek.com.au

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