They are big shoes to fill but we have the feeling that Nkeki Obi-Melekwe is going to make her mark in her West End debut as Tina in the record-breaking run of Tina – The Tina Turner Musical at the Aldwych Theatre. She joins the company on 15 April 2019, as does the new Ike Turner, Ashley Zhangazha. And as for original West End Tina Adrienne Warren, she is preparing to head off to NYC to lead the Broadway production in autumn 2019.
Tina Turner said: “I know just how extensive the search was to find her, and I am delighted that Nkeki will be joining our Tina family. Her raw talent is clearly extraordinary and her determination and spirit are second to none. Audiences at the Aldwych will be amazed. I look forward to welcoming her to London!”
Nkeki Obi-Melekwe said:
“I am beyond excited! To be coming to London to join the West End community is one thing, but to be taking on this extraordinary role is something else. Tina means so much to so many people, including me, and I do not take this opportunity lightly. I hope I can make her as proud as I am to be playing Tina Turner. I can’t wait to get started.”
Based on the life of legendary artist Tina Turner, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical recently announced a new release of over 200,000 tickets for the hit musical, now taking bookings at the Aldwych Theatre to 21 December 2019.
The second year company will begin performances on 19 March 2019, with Nkeki Obi-Melekwe (Tina Turner) and Ashley Zhangazha (Ike Turner) joining the following month. Aisha Jawando will play the role of Tina at some performances each week, Irene-Myrtle Forrester will play Tina’s Grandmother GG, Howard Gossington will play record producer Phil Spector and lyricist Terry Britten, Francesca Jackson will continue to play Ike and Tina’s manager Rhonda Graam, Jammy Kasongo will play Tina’s father Richard Bullock and Tina’s first love Raymond Hill, Edward Bourne will play record company marketing manager Erwin Bach and Oscar Batterham will play Tina’s manager Roger Davies. Maria Omakinwa joins to play the role of Tina’s mother Zelma until 22 June 2019, when Madeline Appiah will rejoin the company in that role. Final casting will be announced shortly.
They are joined by ensemble members Daniella Bowen, Chloe Chambers, Joelle Dyson, Sia Kiwa, Lejaun Sheppard, Kibong Tanji, Cameron Bernard Jones who also plays Tina’s son Craig and Ashlee Irish who plays Tina’s son Ronnie and Joseph Richardson, and swings Gavin Alex, Derek Aidoo, Joshua Da Costa, Amandla Elynah, Hannah Jay-Allan, Angela Marie Hurst, Leisha Mollyneaux and Samuel J. Weir.