Theatre Review: TINA – The Tina Turner Musical

FIFTY+SA Arts Reviewer shares his thoughts of the opening night of the stellar TINA - The Tina Turner Musical.

This is one of those ensemble shows that hits the right mark from start to finish.

The fact that Tina Turner (1939 – 2023) was “deeply involved” in the crafting of this musical is no surprise because it doesn’t stick to the usual tropes, it rises above them and grants the audience with some real insight into her life and the way things evolved with her brilliant career.

This production is outstanding in just about every way. It stands as a dramatically satisfying story of triumph against what seem to be unsurmountable odds, as well as, a living tribute to an artist of great sophistication.

The lead roles are played exceptionally well, Ruva Ngwenya as Tina Turner is an unstoppable entertaining force. Ngwenya barely leaves the stage and sings almost continuously never dropping or drooping at all.

Giovanni Adams is also superb as Ike Turner. His is a tricky part to play because of his characters behaviour, throwing his fists around at the drop of a hat and literally beating his wife. He sang beautifully in this most difficult role, even when the audience spontaneously began exclaiming their dissatisfaction and outright dislike of his character, Adams maintained poise and never wavered from the task at hand.

Ibinabo Jack also impressed with a sterling performance as Zelma Bullock, Tina’s mother, who left her at an early age, retreating from an aggressive and abusive husband.

Matt Bebbington the Casting Director has assembled an impressive cast and Simone Mistry-Palmer has designed some excellent choreography; the dancing is amazing.

The set and lighting is realised well and in such a way that when the story peaks, visually, it really explodes.

I recommend it for any fan of great musical theatre, if you’ve never heard of Tina Turner, or if you’re a long-time fan, you’ll find much to savour here.

TINA – The Tina Turner Musical

Until 31st of May, 2024

Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide

Hero image credit: Daniel Boud


We would like to acknowledge the Kaurna people as the custodians of the lands and waters of the Adelaide region.

FIFTY+SA © 2024. All Rights Reserved. 


Join the New Age

Get the latest events, news, reviews and exclusive competitions sent straight to your inbox.  Never miss a beat!