Soul Sister musical: Blog Review

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As most of you know, yesterday was the opening of the new musical about Ike & Tina Turner in London. Fellow Tina fan Jamie attended it and wrote a review of the musical for the blog. Details about the evening inside the post. If any of you guys also went, leave a comment and share with us your feelings about it! And of course, a big thank you to Jamie for his review !

I attended the Soul Sister show on Saturday 14th April at London’s Hackney Empire. It was only the second show of it’s 3 week run with only the afternoons matinee before it. I was very excited about the show having seen a short preview a couple of weeks ago. Here is a quick run through of some highlights for me…

The show began with Private Dancer. Emi Wokoma who plays Tina is a great actress with a fantastic voice. She doesn’t sound like Tina (who does?!) but what was important was that she got “the feeling” of what Tina is about across to the audience.

The show used video screens to project images along with narratives by Tina (Emi) as they told the story. It tells the story that we all know, Anna Mae leaving Nutbush, travelling to St.Louis & meeting Ike Turner. Ike is played by Chris Tummings & I did particularly enjoy his portrayal.

The show gives a run through of some old Ike & Tina songs in the first half before closing with River Deep Mountain High. The dress reveal for this performance was a stand out moment with woops from the audience & people singing along.

The second half continued with Proud Mary & Honky Tonk Woman. This was a fantastic performance. Emi’s dress was spot on to one of Tina’s & she was dancing so hard the beads were flying off across the stage! It really got everyone moving & cheering.

The show covers the Review’s Soul to Soul concert in Ghana also. By now I had the impression some of the first night nerves were easing off & they were able to really give it their all.

The show ends with Tina at the Ritz. It basically turns into a mini Tina tribute act & it feels like a celebration of all things Tina. The band are fantastic throughout the show, they were another highlight for me. By the last song people were up dancing, clapping, cheering & generally going a little bit wild! Myself included..!

To sum it up, it was a very good production. It was an interesting take on the Ike & Tina story that has already been told a million times over. They tried to get across the fact that behind the violence was a relationship between two great talents who produced & performed some of the best music of the 1960s and 1970s. With some polishing up, this show could move onto bigger things in the West End. It deserves to do well.

40 Replies to “Soul Sister musical: Blog Review”

      1. Hi guys. Thanks for asking. The show was very well done. My highlights of the show was: Tinas and Phil Spector phonecall and after that River´s deep mountain´s high performance (absolutely amazing), and then the whole second part of the show: Steamy Windows (all people were on their feets), Addicted To Love, Whats Love and Simply The Best. Who saw Emi Wokoma on youtube (her photoshoot video), please forget about it, because she can sing more rough than on that video. Emi´s legs looks amazing, the same as her dancing. I definitely recommend to see this musical. BUT there was one thing I really missed at Hackney Empire was Miss Tina Turner somewhere in the theatre 😉 Believe me, after this show you will much more missing Tina Turner. The rest of evening I couldn´t stop thinking about Tina´s return.

        Have a good day.


      2. Thanks for your review Jozef! Glad that you enjoyed the musical – I can imagine that after the show you want more live Tina music. Let’s hope we’ll see more of the real Tina in the future!


  1. I was at the opening show yesterday afternoon. What a brilliant turnout of audience, so enjoyable. I have to say as well as enjoying the singing voice of emi womaka, who plays the character of tina turner the band was brilliant and the dancing. My favourite songs had to be private dancer and what’s love got to do with it. Such a sad but inspiring story. Well done guys/gals. Look forward to many more shows/musicals at hackney empire


  2. Hi! I’m going to London to see this Tina musicalon on May 2 . I will go with a frend. We’ll be sitting Stall D12 and D13. Another fan going?
    Jean, France


  3. I went to the final preview show on Sunday evening and it was fantastic! By the end of the night the entire audience was on their feet and dancing. Emi (who plays Tina) is a real talent and progresses nicely to the Tina that most people think of as the show evolves. The screen behind the stage is really innovative and I loved the way people came on and off stage. Its a must see.


  4. I hope you all have fun there….and i’m sure the persons singing/playing are very good.
    But for me there is only one Tina and i don’t feel the need to go and see someone else singing and acting like Tina.
    My passion goes out to the woman that brings the music, the presence, the look and so much more… words cannot describe it.
    Only Tina can do that for me.



    1. Understand how you feel, Sid. But still – there is not much of the real Tina these days, so it is good to have something else to keep us entertained, even if it’s not the original 😉


  5. I went to see this show yesterday and I must say that it was brilliant!!
    Emi Wokoma who plays Tina Turner was amazing and Chris Tummings who plays Ike is also. The band was so spot on and the visuals used turned the stage into a screen. I would definitely recommend anyone to go and see this show, words just don’t do this show justice!!


  6. I went with three friends – which was on the 19th (Thursday) with tickets that Elle had kindly organised. We had a great view in row ‘L’ of the stalls.

    I went again today (Sunday 5pm only show) and plan to go again on Tuesday 24th and again I have tickets for the final show on Saturday May 5th (7:30pm show) – so if anyone else on here is going on those dates let me know. I know that tickets for the good seats are selling out fast.

    I spoke to the staff at the theatre today and they ‘hope’ to possibly take it on tour – or perhaps in to the West End of London in the future.
    I can see why it is getting such great reviews – it is a very professional production and the musical numbers are well put together with all of the nuances and feel of the era – A lot of it reminded me of the movie – in terms of the dancing and costumes etc.

    The back-drop screen is great and narrates the story as it goes along.
    Emi is great as Tina and seems to capture the essence of her energy and she does have some of her moves and afflictions down pat.
    Chris is also very good as Ike and reminded me of Lawrence Fishburne’s interpretation vocally.

    The last three numbers have the whole audience clapping and singing along and the end is a real party atmosphere – now all we need are more Tina fans there to really make it a party. Best bits are the closing of the first half when they do ‘River Deep’ and the opening of the second half with ‘Proud Mary’

    I must admit I was a bit apprehensive at first but having read the reviews and seen the show twice now I would definitely recommend it

    No word of when or if Tina herself will attend – but the staff and cast say there is a rumour she may go to a performance – who knows? I think she would be pretty impressed if she does go!
    thanks for reading my review.

    Gregor (in London)


  7. I just saw the show and it was FANTABULOUS! It was that good I had to make up my own word, the singing was wonderful, the vibe was good, the entire cast were superb, this better come back and this time straight to the west end because they bloody deserve it! I was itching in my seat to dance during the first half but had to maintain a dignified leg tap…2nd half I was out of my seat dancing and swaying and clapping and singing and cheering, the band was absolutely nuts I felt the case through my feet and in my chest they were great! You guys did a wonderful job! Kudos and I hope this comes to town again – and I will be there again! Well done!!!


    1. Hi Zainad,

      Thanks for your comments and your impressions of the show. Looks like it’s getting better than expected which is a good news for all of us and for Tina!


  8. I went to see the first show on the 14th April and I enjoyed it so much that I went again the Friday before it closed.

    Emi does a wonderful job of being Tina! Part of my problem is that being old I was alive and following Tina during her earlier career.

    I was not that greatly impressed by the film and thought that this play was better.

    One thing that it did was to make me look up Tina ( now 72 ! ) on the web and viewed her concert with Beyonce when 68 and her “70th birthday” concert. Still the same Tina voice and she did not fall off her high heels.


    Tony Glazier


  9. Great show, 29 dec in the Hague, great performers, great songs, Rocket 88, my favorite Ike song, and much more, absolutely fantastic
    Tina, great Ikettes, great band, and everything watched from the front row . . . . . . . . . .


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