WHAT’S Love Got to Do With It, asked Tina Turner in one of her big solo hits, and the answer is a lot in this vibrant show about the troubled times of Ike and Tina.
Emi Wokoma is fabulous all the way through. She dominates as she portrays the star from a naive 16-year-old Anne Mae Bullock auditioning for Ike Turner’s Revue through their partnership and final reinvention of herself as a solo star.
The backdrop is the racial segregation of America in the 1950s and 1960s which meant that black stars were relegated to an artistic ghetto.
That only began to change slowly as people fought for equality through the civil rights movement.
We see that Ike Turner (well played by Chris Tummings) is driven to achieve but increasingly embittered at his failure to break through.
He turns to women and then drugs.
His violence to wife Tina, graphically portrayed, is not excused but given a context. Their artistic and personal bond was amazingly strong but eventually it broke.
This is still a lively night out which re-creates the amazing music and dancing with Ikette backing singers and a strong band on stage.
The big finale is a joyous Tina concert that has everyone on their feet.
It’s cleverly staged too with a projected comic book-style backdrop.