Nicki Alchin
25th May 2023

It is with happiness and sadness that Sydney Scoop acknowledges the huge impact Tina Turner's exubernt talent, courage, dedication and determination has made to the world of music and also to the lives of ordinary people through her music. The happiness of course is about the dynamic force Tina was and that along with her singing career, was able to produce, along with Erin Bach, Tina - The Tina Turner Musical based on the book by Katori Hall with Frank Katelaar and Kees Prin, and know it premiered with a bang in Sydney this May at the Theatre Royal. The sadness is that we learned today that Tina will only be with us in spirit from this day forth. Oh! but what a spirit and legacy she has left for all to enjoy and celebrate, with last but by no means least, this wonderfully powerful musical Tina

Compelling, truthful storytelling is the lens I believe this musical dramatisation of Tina Turner's life, is meant to be viewed. Very few punches are pulled from this very personal account of a very public figure's life. 

To the credit of the writers and associate director (Nicholai La Barrie) the ugly reality of professional and personal jealousy, marital violence and infidelity that Ike Turner dished out to Tina is portrayed on stage in not the deepest of detail but sufficiently deep enough between the hit songs, strong band performances, creative staging (associate stage set designer, Brian Webb), colourful costumes and dance routines, for the audience to see quite plainly the torment Tina and her sons endured at the hands of Ike. 

Another credit worthy point to make about the script, is the way the writers have woven into every scene Tina's huge heart and ferocious tenacity to make something of her life and talent. 

As quoted by Tina, the musical "is not about my stardom, this is about the journey that I took to get there". 

Starting from her humble, disrupted childhood singing gospel with her preacher daddy through to being 'noticed' by Ike Turner and having the courage to leave that behind to start afresh solo, the audience is definitely taken on a journey about a wonderful human being with a desire to share her talent and positivity with the world on her terms. 

Stray in for some ugly home truths about the early days, but also get ready to witness Tina's conscientious desire to excel at performing and uplifting other people's lives via the power of song and dance. 

The Sydney cast is led by the gutsy Riva Ngwenya who gives a no holding back performance of Tina, giving it all she has at every move. She is matched in effort and ability by Tim Omaji in his very convincingly sleazy portrayal as Ike. 

And where would a musical be without strong, talented support actors such as Deni Gordon as Gran GG, Ibinabo Jack as Selma Bullock, and Nadia Komazec as Rhonda Gramm. 

Go and enjoy this vibrant, classy musical that is all heart and soul with high talent spread throughout the entire cast. Sing your hearts out in joy to Tina's hits and revel in the majesty that is Tina Turner. 

Tina, The Tina Turner musical is now playing at the Theatre Royal, Sydney. 

Photo by Daniel Boud