The theatre was packed to capacity; ages ranged from 20+ years upwards although I did see some mums with young children aged about 8 and 10 years old.
All eyes were on the stage in anticipation of the show, ‘What’s Love Got to Do With It’, a joyous musical show celebrating the music of the incredible Tina Turner.
The curtain rose and Elesha Paul Moses bounded onto the stage resplendent in an over-the-top blonde wig and dazzling sequinned outfit. Elesha has previously appeared on X Factor and The Voice; I had not seen her on either before and was immediately impressed. She has perfected iconic Turner’s accent and gestures along with mastering her voice’s timbre and excellence.
The set was simple with raised platforms for the musicians; two guitarists, a drummer, a keyboard player and a female saxophonist/percussionist. There were three backing singers/dancers; two female and one male who accompanied Elesha with the singing and dancing. It was a well-rehearsed cast with talented musicians who were recognised as such and had their own highlights in the show.
It is a high energy, feel-good rock-and-roll show featuring Turner’s greatest hits whose career spanned over fifty years and all her stunning hits were included in the show, such as ‘Private Dancer’, ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It?’, ‘Proud Mary’, ‘River Deep Mountain High’, ‘Nutbush City Limits’, ‘Simply The Best’ plus covers of some of the Rolling Stones hits.
Elesha had the audience in the palm of her hand from the onset; I thought many had probably seen her show before as she stormed onto the stage to rapturous applause. It seemed as though many of her fan club members were seated in the first few rows as they were up on the feet clapping and dancing from the beginning of the show.
There was audience participation during the first half of the show with Elesha urging the audience to copy her Tina Turner moves and this led to a competition of ladies versus gents. Incredibly more gents were up dancing and strutting their stuff than ladies and they were declared the winners. There was considerable affection and admiration radiating from the audience and it was evident they wanted to be involved with the show from the start.
Elesha’s costumes deserve a mention, they were stunning, and she wore them very well; she had a number of costume changes and all outfits were striking with glittery sequins and shiny fabrics. Elesha sported a space age costume for ‘We Don’t Need Another Hero’ and a further highlight featured Elesha in a stunning golden beaded gown as the band played the familiar Bond theme ‘GoldenEye’.
This tribute show very much depends on the talent and energy of the lead person and Elesha is perfection in both. Her engaging personality and obvious love for icon Tina Turner is unmistakable. She gave an excellent representation of Turner with her characteristic dance moves and musical interpretation; this was a tribute rather than an attempt at a full impersonation but as such, her song delivery was astonishing.
Strobe lighting and multi-coloured spotlights overhead with colour changes on stage added to the atmosphere. Elesha used the stage well, making sure she was equally at either end or in the middle at all times. The choreography was superb and Elesha didn’t miss a breath, she is a bundle of energy, and this show is a celebration of her talent as well as Turners. The musical support was equally as good with fantastic solos from the saxophonist and the lead guitarist plus the backing singers/dancers who were on point throughout.
After a short interval the music tribute continued and the audience were immediately on their feet singing and dancing in their seats and in the aisles as Elesha belted out Turner’s biggest hits such as ‘Proud Mary’, ‘Nutbush City Limits’ and ‘Simply The Best’ which was featured in the encore.
The audience would have stayed for more but definitely went home happy and probably exhausted.
Elesha didn’t disappoint, she was ‘Simply the Best’ in this very enjoyable tribute and stunning celebration of one of the greatest singers of our time, Tina Turner.
What’s Love Got To Do With It continues to tour the UK into 2022. Dates and tickets can be found at https://whatslovegottodowithit.co/
Reviewer: Anne Pritchard
Reviewed: 14th October 2021
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★★