Ruva Ngwenya to play Tina Turner

by | Feb 4, 2023

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 Ruva Ngwenya when the multi award-winning smash hit musical premieres at Theatre Royal Sydney this May.


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.”


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.”

NSW Minister for Tourism and the Arts, Ben Franklin said, “I am delighted for Ruva and congratulate her on being cast for the role as the iconic Tina Turner. I cannot wait for her to give simply the best performance when this internationally acclaimed, world-class production makes its Australian premiere in Sydney in May this year. The NSW Liberal and Nationals Government is committed to securing the world’s best productions like TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL for the Harbour City, which is key to our ambition to make Sydney and NSW the major events capital and premier visitor economy of the Asia Pacific.”

Produced by Paul Dainty/TEG DAINTY in special collaboration with Stage Entertainment, Tali Pelman and Tina Turner; the musical reveals a comeback story like no other, of a woman who dared to defy the bounds of her age, gender and race to become the global Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll. TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL is a celebration of resilience and an inspiration of triumph over adversity.


Written by Tony Award nominee and Pulitzer Prize winner Katori Hall with Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins, TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL is directed by Tony Award nominee Phyllida Lloyd with choreography by Tony Award nominee Anthony van Laast, set and costume designs by Tony Award nominee Mark Thompson, musical supervision, additional music and arrangements by Nicholas Skilbeck, lighting by Tony Award nominee Bruno Poet, sound by Tony Award nominee Nevin Steinberg, projection design by Tony Award nominee Jeff Sugg, orchestrations by Tony Award nominee Ethan Popp and wigs, hair and makeup design by Drama Desk Award winner Campbell Young Associates.


This new musical based on the life of legendary artist Tina Turner and presented in association with Tina Turner herself, received its world premiere in April 2018 in London, where it opened to five-star reviews and continues to break box office records at the Aldwych Theatre. In March 2019, the German production opened at Stage Operettenhaus in Hamburg, the Broadway production followed in November 2019 and was nominated for 12 Tony Awards including Best Musical. The Dutch production opened at the Beatrix Theater, Utrecht, in February 2020. A third European production opened in Fall 2021 at the Teatro Coliseum in Madrid, Spain and the North American Tour commenced in September 2022.  In 2023 alongside the Australian production, there will be another European Production in Stuttgart, Germany opening in March.


One of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, Tina Turner has won 12 Grammy Awards and her live shows have been seen by millions, with more concert tickets sold than any other solo performer in music history.  When she was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in October, 2021, Tina Turner became one of only three women in the institution’s history to be inducted twice (she was initially inducted in 1991, alongside Ike Turner).


TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL coming to Theatre Royal Sydney in May 2023


For tickets and information, visit






@tinamusicalau      #TinaMusicalAU

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