Interview: Ruva Ngwenya to star as Tina Turner in ‘Tina – The Tina Turner Musical’

‘Tina – The Tina Turner Musical’ will star Ruva Ngwenya when it opens in Adelaide next year

There will only ever be one Tina Turner. She was ‘simply the best’, her never-ending string of hits shaping and reshaping the music industry as we know it. Her passing in May this year was a great loss to the music industry and the world.

In April 2024, the smash hit Tina – The Tina Turner Musical is set to open in Adelaide. Featuring iconic songs including Simply The Best, Nutbush and Proud Mary, the show tells the story of Tina Turner’s life and has received 37 prestigious award nominations including Best Musical (Tony Awards) and Best New Musical (Olivier Awards). 

In the title role of Tina Turner, Ruva Ngwenya spoke to Glam Adelaide about the show and the legend herself. 

“I find her music very uplifting and catchy. It really puts me in a good mood. Simply The Best is one of my favourite songs to sing; it just makes me feel really good about myself and puts me in a positive mood. I love the power and energy in her voice and the rawness and the fact that it’s not perfect, but there’s so much freedom in the way she sings and so much joy and passion, and I love that about her voice.”

Today, September 26, fans from all over the world, along with community and state leaders, come together to celebrate Tina Turner Day in the State of Tennessee. Ngwenya discussed with us how important events like Tina Turner Day are to keep the memory of her music alive.

“It is important to celebrate Tina’s legacy across the world and especially in Tennessee with Tina Turner Day. She contributed so much to society and women and culture and music – she’s an icon who has really uplifted a lot of people going through traumatic and difficult times. She’s very important to the culture so it’s very, very special and humbling that we get to be a part of her legacy as well in Tina, a show that she helped create and tell her story and push her legacy forward in such a meaningful and beautiful way.”

To be able to sing Tina Turner’s hits night after night and to celebrate her life and share her story must be a huge privilege. 

“It’s amazing to step into Tina’s shoes, it is a huge, huge honour and quite honestly it’s pretty daunting, because they are huge shoes to fill. And so, every night is a challenge and a process to get to that point of telling her story with authenticity and real energy and rawness, it’s definitely no easy task but it’s made so much fun by singing those iconic songs and wearing those incredible costumes. She’s a fashionista so I get to play dress ups every night and transform into Tina, which is so much fun.

“Audiences have been loving the show. It’s just euphoric when you see them jump on their feet and start singing along and their smiles and the joy and the dancing to Proud Mary with me! It’s really, really special and it just makes all the hard work worth it every night when you’re on that stage in that finale.”

Tina – The Tina Turner The Musical opens at the Adelaide Festival Centre from April 2024. Tickets are on sale now. Further information can be found at: .

Photo credit: Daniel Boud

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