PREVIEW: Soul Sister, Sunderland Empire

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ONE of theatre’s most soulful new musicals is heading to Sunderland.

Soul Sister was nominated for Best New Musical at this year’s Olivier Awards, and its UK tour will roll into the Sunderland Empire next month.

The production is inspired by the music, life and times of Ike and Tina Turner, and it features all the classic Tina Turner hits including What’s Love Got to Do with It, Proud Mary, Private Dancer, River Deep Mountain High and Simply the Best.

The story follows the highs, lows, passions and heartbreak of Ike and Tina as their careers soared while their marriage crumbled, ultimately leading to Tina being catapulted to superstardom and heralded as one of the greatest solo artists of all time.

Tina Turner has been hailed as one of music’s greatest ever live performance and recording artist divas, and was named “one of the greatest singers of all time” by Rolling Stone Magazine.

With a career spanning more than 50 years, her combined album and single sales total about 180million copies worldwide. She has won nine Grammy Awards and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame among many other accolades and honours.

Jenny Fitzpatrick, who plays the American singer, said: “Tina Turner has been one of the biggest musical influences in my life, probably since the first time I heard her singing River Deep Mountain High when I was a kid, so it’s an absolute dream to play her in Soul Sister.”

Jenny’s West End and regional theatre credits include Little Shop of Horror, Our House, The Blues Brothers and Ghost.

Chris Tummings will star alongside her as Ike Turner. His many stage roles include in Stratford East’s The Harder They Come and The Big Life and in Indhu Rubasingham’s production of Fabulation at the Tricycle.

l Tickets priced £10-£29.50 can be bought in person from the box office in High Street West, the Ticket Centre on 0844 871 3022 and online at www.ATGtickets.com/Sunderland.