Alice by Heart's Nkeki Obi-Melekwe to Replace Adrienne Warren in West End's Tina

Alice by Heart's Nkeki Obi-Melekwe to Replace Adrienne Warren in West End's Tina
Nkeki Obi-Melekwe
(Photo: Emilio Madrid-Kuser for Broadway.com)

Nkeki Obi-Melekwe, a rising star currently appearing in the off-Broadway musical Alice by Heart, has been selected to take over the role of Tina Turner in the West End production of the acclaimed bio-musical Tina. Obi-Melekwe will begin performances at the Aldwych Theatre on April 15, succeeding Tony nominee Adrienne Warren, who will play her final performance on April 13 in advance of reprising her turn on Broadway.

Obi-Melekwe said, "I am beyond excited! To be coming to London to join the West End community is one thing, but to be taking on this extraordinary role is something else. Tina means so much to so many people, including me, and I do not take this opportunity lightly. I hope I can make her as proud as I am to be playing Tina Turner. I can't wait to get started."

Turner said, "I know just how extensive the search was to find her, and I am delighted that Nkeki will be joining our Tina family. Her raw talent is clearly extraordinary and her determination and spirit are second to none. Audiences at the Aldwych will be amazed. I look forward to welcoming her to London!"

A 2018 graduate of the The University of Michigan's School of Music, Theater and Dance, Obi-Melekwe will make her West End debut in Tina. Her screen credits include Smilf for Showtime and Bull for CBS.

Also joining the West End production on April 15 will be Ashley Zhangazha as Ike Turner, Irene-Myrtle Forrester as GG, Howard Gossington as Phil Spector/Terry Britten, Jammy Kasongo as Richard Bullock/Raymond Hill, Edward Bourne as Erwin Bach, Oscar Batterham as Roger Davies and Maria Omakinwa as Zelma until June 22, when Madeline Appiah will rejoin the company in that role.

Francesca Jackson will continue with the production in the role of Rhonda Graam. Aisha Jawando will play the role of Tina at certain performances.

They are joined by ensemble members Daniella Bowen, Chloe Chambers, Joelle Dyson, Sia Kiwa, Lejaun Sheppard, Kibong Tanji, Cameron Bernard Jones and Ashlee Irish and Joseph Richardson, with swings Gavin Alex, Derek Aidoo, Joshua Da Costa, Amandla Elynah, Hannah Jay-Allan, Angela Marie Hurst, Leisha Mollyneaux and Samuel J. Weir.

Tina features a book by Katori Hall and direction by Phyllida Lloyd, with choreography by Anthony van Laast, set and costume design by Mark Thompson, musical supervision by Nicholas Skilbec, lighting by Bruno Poet, sound by Nevin Steinberg and orchestrations by Ethan Popp.