Soul Sister Review
Attempting to portray thirty years of pain, perseverance and progression in a two-hour time slot, may initially seem a difficult task.
However, the theatrical portrayal of the life of Ike and Tina Turner is a plausible effort of time management while on stage. Soul Sister’s leading lady, Emi Wokoma's attempts in emulating the Rock & Roll Icon are commendable; she has a captivating vocal ability and the complimentary signature moves of Ms Turner herself. Wokoma is able to show both sides of the songstress- the vulnerable wife, and the well-recognised show woman we all know and love, and this is further complimented by the strong, conflictive and at times, boo-hissable performances from Chris Tummings who played Ike Turner.
We begin from the end, with an appearance from a signature-sequinned Turner preparing for a solo performance in the late 80s- a link in the narrative chain that will later develop in to a portfolio of music, memories, and the ulterior motives of her founder and then husband, Ike Turner.
Some smooth prop-assisted transitions later, and we are acquainted with a young Anna Mae Bullock who leaves her life in Nutbush down south, to be discovered later in the fast-paced city of St.Louis- the true beginning of Tina’s troubled success.
The relationship of Mr & Mrs T forms the basis of this moving musical, with the main emphasis being placed on the maintenance and chemistry between them while preparing and remaining relevant during a period of musical success.
The show acts a commendable platform and memory trigger for avid fans of the hits that Turner is most famous for, from from Private Dancer and I Can’t Stand the Rain, to River Deep Mountain High and The Best.
If you’re one who truly enjoys musical soul classics and an easy to follow storyline- you’re in luck!
With strong instrumentals, well-trained voices, and a strong essence of audience participation, it’s safe to say that whoever was lucky enough to watch ‘Soul Sister’ really got her monies worth!
Soul Sister was played at the Hackney Empire.
Written for MOBO by Karen-Grace Siriboe.