In the year we finally get our Super-Black Hero Movie, Marvel’s The Black Panther, and the year before she celebrates her 80th birthday, we will be getting a new jukebox musical based on Tina Turner’s life!
The artist who has sold more than 180 million singles and albums, joined the creative and producing teams at a workshop presentation in London last week, December 16th. She said, “We have been working on the musical for over a year now and today I am delighted to be able to share our news as we begin the next chapter of our journey. It has been wonderful to collaborate with Katori and Phyllida and to have my story nurtured by such an amazing creative team is thrilling. London has always had a very special place in my heart and it’s wonderful to be back.”
She is talking about the two other women attached to the project – African American playwright-journalist-actress Katori Hall who will be co-writing, and acclaimed theatre director director Phyllida Lloyd. Other writers include Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins. Set and costume design will be by Mark Thompson; choreography by Anthony van Laast and musical supervisor will be Nicholas Skilbeck. Yes, the team is white, with the exception of Ms Turner and Hall. But I guess the culture is where it counts, and everyone else possess reputedly high quality, extensive experience.
The musical is being developed by Stage Entertainment, whose Group Creative Director is the also highly experienced and seriously talented Tali Pelman. She said, “It’s been an honour for us all to collaborate so closely with Tina Turner on this project. Tina is a music legend and her iconic songs are matched only by the power and inspiration of her remarkable and moving story. We are delighted to be working with Katori Hall, whose writing has a heart and humour that beautifully captures Tina’s life story, and to have the extraordinary director Phyllida Lloyd at the helm of such a talented creative team. It’s been exciting today to see the project move into its next phase.”
This isn’t the first stage interpretation of the Turner life. The hit musical Soul Sister was created by John Miller and Pete Brooks and was directed by Bob Eaton. It opened at the Hackney Empire in April 2012, then transferred to the Savoy Theatre the following August. It generally earned 4-5 stars until its closure in September 2013, and showcased the highs and lows, passions and heartbreak of Ike and Tina Turner as their careers blossomed and their marriage crumbled. It also featured some of their greatest hits. It will be interesting to see what a change in cultural and gender influence will have on the new story. Also this will provide a great opportunity for British African Caribbean musical theatre talent.
Tina The Musical (working title), will be booking from: Monday, 15 January 2018 and will initially run until Sunday, 15 July 2018