After months of speculation, the producers of Tina – The Tina Turner Musical announced today that the coveted role of Tina Turner will be played by Zimbabwean Australian performer Ruva Ngwenya when the multi award-winning smash hit musical premieres at Theatre Royal Sydney this May.
Ruva Ngwenya has been gracing Australian stages since her early years with her first professional role in 2013 as Shenzi in The Lion King. Born and educated in Melbourne, her musical instincts pay homage to her Zimbabwean Heritage. Ruva has performed in a string of successful musicals; We Will Rock You, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Ragtime and more recently Moulin Rouge! The Musical, solidifying Ruva as one of musical theatre’s most sought-after performers. Playing Tina Turner in Tina - The Tina Turner Musical marks her first lead role in musical theatre.
Ruva said: “I am honoured to have the opportunity to be part of this telling of Tina Turner’s life story. Tina’s courage, grace and determination are inspirational to me and so many people around the world. Her music literally changed my life as a 15-year-old when I performed ‘River Deep – Mountain High’ solo on stage, for the very first time in my school musical. This moment led me to the path of performing and musical theatre.”
Presented in association with Tina Turner herself, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical received its world premiere in April 2018 in London, where it opened to five-star reviews and broken box office records at the Aldwych Theatre. It has since had three European tours and a Broadway production in November 2019, which was nominated for 12 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
Speaking about the announcement, Tina Turner said: “Australia holds a very special place in my heart and I am thrilled to be bringing my wonderful musical to Sydney. Ruva Ngwenya is a beautiful performer who I know will bring her own joy and her soul to this role. She joins a wonderful unique group of women that are my Tinas, and I’m proud of each and every one of them. Sending all my love and blessings to Ruva and the whole Australian company.”
Tina – The Tina Turner Musical opens at Theatre Royal Sydney from May 4, 2023. Tickets are on sale now. Find out more here.