Tina T'urner Tea Lady

Tina T'urner Tea Lady

Named best newcomer in the London Cabaret Awards 2014 and a finalist in the NATY competition the same year.
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Tina T'urner Tea Lady

Note: This review is from 2014

Review by Steve Bennett

The idea is as simple as it is bonkers, but with perhaps a nod to the old BBC Two series Stella Street. Tina Turner has retired from showbusiness and is now a tea lady, making ‘simply the best’ cuppa in town.

So here the diva in a tabard delivers a feisty concert of her greatest hits, but with lyrics changed to reflect her new career. Lady sings the brews.

Such parodies can be the lowest form of wit, but Tracey Collins, the woman behind the caricature, has elevated this into something special by seeking the laughs from Turner’s bolder-than-brass personality, not a few puns set to music. She knows it is the singer, not the song, that’s important.

She belts out the numbers with the familiar throaty rasp; owning the stage and the audience. She flirts aggressively with them all, ordering her prey to touch her leg, or more. ‘I’m naaaasty,’ she growls, gutturally. Few can resist such bestial power, and the force of her personality gets the crowd involved in some hilariously spirited shenanigans, not quite Adam Riches in a fright wig, but on her way.

The drawback is what you probably expect; drawing this fun but essentially one-joke character out for 45 minutes. Collins does pretty well, with a varied mix of songs, banter and set-pieces. Yet some segments, such as reading extracts from her showbiz diary, seem like filler, as she invents anecdotes about encounters with other soul legends. Yet even here there are some nifty gags along the way.

Feeling competitive about Cher’s ongoing success leads to a conga through her venue – it made some sort of logical sense at the time – notching up another high from this anarchic and spirited performer. But perhaps Ms Turner is best showcased alongside other performers and creations, so the madness can be concentrated.

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Published: 8 Aug 2014

NATY 2014 final

With its remit to seek out variety acts as well as…


Past Shows

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

Tina T'urner Tea Lady

Edinburgh Fringe 2019

Tina T'urner Tea Lady and Freaks!


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