Performance Style

Tina’s soundtrack is formed of hits from Tina Turner’s extensive back catalogue of music dating from 1957 to 1988.  Many people would term this a jukebox musical. However, writer Katori Hall prefers to use the term bio-musical: the show uses Tina’s music to tell Tina’s true story. This is different from many jukebox musicals which combine songs to tell a fictional story.

The play can also be described as a memory play.  The play begins with Tina preparing to go on stage in Brazil, and before she does she revisits formative moments from her past which have taken her from her childhood in Nutbush, Tennessee, to performing for 180,000 fans in Brazil.  The show then opens up those memories to the audience in a series of flashbacks.

As a musical, Tina is non-naturalistic. The acting style includes the delivery of naturalistic dialogue but many of the characters’ emotions and objectives emerge through what they sing, as well as what they say.   The set design uses various different techniques to suggest location, including video, lighting and minimal set.  Location, mood and atmosphere are created as much through lighting and sound design as much as what is physically on stage. This is vital as there are so many locations throughout the show, and the transitions between each scene are very quick.

Tina herself is rarely off-stage and therefore has several on-stage costume changes.  There are various points in the performance where characters enter through the auditorium, therefore breaking the fourth wall.

The creative team also created several different modes or locations for the performance to identify how the story might be told.