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Informed Edinburgh

Absolute Radio


Gay Times




The Billie Holiday Story is a glamorous and moving account of the troubled life of one of the most prolific jazz stars in America. Set to an impeccable five-piece Jazz band, Holiday’s story is told through a hybrid of gig and drama, monologues seamlessly intertwined with the lyrics of Holiday’s songs, the story behind each revealed before and during its duration. But Nina Kristofferson, writer and sole star of the show, has crafted a portrayal that is more than just an impersonation act. It is a homage to Holiday’s unique voice enhanced by dashes of Kristofferson’s own inspiring vocal flair.


Cast your minds back to April 1915, the year that Billie Holiday was born. Life was very different for everyone then, especially a girl who seemed to find trouble wherever she looked. My dad used to listen to Billie Holiday when I was younger, but I didn’t know her songs well. However, they have the sultry style that stirs you, even if you’re not into jazz or blues. Nina Kristofferson (the writer and star of the show) has managed to take the life and songs of Billie Holiday and combine them into a performance that is as moving, as it is magical.


The room is crowded, smoky and dark. You could hear a pin drop as the audience sits motionless, their eyes riveted on the glittering lady on the stage, holding their breath as they wait for her to sing. After keeping them waiting for a long moment, sing she finally does; the first slow velvety notes pour into the room, and that familiar, singular, exquisite voice breaks into ‘Strange Fruit‘. As the final echoes of the song die away, the audience remains motionless, silent, too moved by the bitter-sweet words, too awe-struck by the singer’s talent to even applaud.


The lights dim as the five piece jazz band steps onto the stage. The clear chime of the piano keys break the silence as the double bass thrums into life and the beat of the drum kit sets the rhythm. The harmony builds as the brassy peal of the trumpet and saxophone take the symphony to a resounding crescendo and the woman in white takes her place before the microphone. The single spotlight shines on her ruby red lips as they part and that smooth voice sounds each individual word with a pulsing resonance. A fine romance indeed as Lady Day takes to the stage once more.


You take your allocated seat and wait for the show to begin, sipping a glass of wine and talking to your companions in the media-revolutionised 21st century. Then, as soon as the lights fade, the band starts playing the kind of jazz you probably only hear if you watch a film set in the 30s, when the sound was popular. After a few seconds, Nina Kristofferson makes her appearance, splendidly clad in an elegant dress, and starts singing. It feels like you’ve been thrown back to the 30s.

Nina Kristofferson’s Timeless


“…she put together a show that embraced songs made famous by the likes of Adele, James Brown, Beyoncé, Barbra Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald, Emma James, Dusty Springfield, Nina Simone and Dean Martin.”


Nina Kristofferson at BBC Radio London

8 FEB 2019

“Nina Kristofferson speaks about her new musical…”

Nina Kristofferson at COLOURFUL Radio

“Nina Kristofferson describes how “Billie’s unusual timbre tells a story like no other jazz singer. Her phrasing and timing is heartfelt as she takes you on a journey which encapsulates her many influences …”

News Articles



She’s back by popular demand! Ms Nina Kristofferson, actor, writer, singer, director and producer, revives her highly acclaimed show ‘Billie Holiday Story’ for the London stage. As she prepares for the big night, Diversity Business stole a moment to speak with the actress to find out what fresh aspects about the legendary singer she has managed to bring to light to engage new audiences. Listen here to a recording of the interview.


As a British actress and singer of Caribbean descent, Nina Kristofferson is used to mixing and matching the different elements of her rich heritage.                       From her origins in Birmingham as the daughter of Jamaican and Vincentian parents, her career path has taken her to stage, screen and concert venues, playing roles including Cleopatra and Billie Holiday.


The stylish Nina Kristofferson has received much acclaim in recent years for her Billie Holiday ‘story’ – a tribute to the music of the legendary jazz singer. But there is more to this talented musician (and actress) as evidenced at the Pizza Express Live Pheasantry (Chelsea, London) on Bank Holiday weekend where she demonstrated her wonderful versatility before an audience that included actress Anita Dobsonhe



Have you ever come across an artist whose voice is so sublimely beautiful that you wondered why that music hasn’t been in your life? The jazz and blues singer Nina Kristofferson fits this description to a tee. Her name may not be familiar to you but don’t let that put you off. Her cleverly crafted sound is like discovering a rare gem in a mire of dross commercial music.


Nina Kristofferson at BBC Radio London

20 OCT 2018​

“Singer Nina Kristofferson discusses ‘The Nina Simone Story’ and live music from jazz flautist Gareth Lockrane.”

Nina Kristofferson at

“What can we say about our studio guest for this show? Wow, a total powerhouse! This is Nina’s second show, and we just had to get her back and hear more about her and her story. Nina was inspired by Billie Holiday and Nina Simone to write, produce and perform in her own West End show, The Billie Holiday Story. Along the way we hear about her inspiration, her strength and the courage of Billie Holiday, a woman who carved her own path that allowed so many following after her to have a much…”

Anything But Banal - The Fascination of the Villain

29th December 2013

Paul Allen, BBC R3, Sunday feature interview with Nina on Medea/Billie Holiday

Nina Kristofferson Interview at BBC Radio 4

3rd December 2013

Arts news, interviews and reviews with Mark Lawson, including a review of Nebraska, an interview with John Pilger, and one-woman shows from Julie Andrews to Billie Holiday.

Black History Month

Nina Kristofferson as Billie Holiday Photo by Eric Richmond


28 July 2018

The Times describes Nina as ‘hypnotizing, captivating, electrifying’, the actress, singer and writer Nina Kristofferson is bringing her magical show ‘Nina Kristofferson’s Billie Holiday Story’ in Concert. The sell-out hit show is back by popular demand after attracting critical and public acclaim in London’s West End in April-May 2013. Billie Holiday’s unusual timbre tells a story like no other jazz singer.



24 October 2018

Nina Kristofferson – whose self-penned five star one woman show, Nina Kristofferson’s Billie Holiday Story,enjoyed critical acclaim during it’s sold-out West End season and received nominations from WhatOnStage Awards – now brings her new show, Timeless, to Crazy Coqs. Featuring pianist and MD, John G Smith, the show will showcase a beautiful selection of songs from the jazz, pop, musical theatre and classical era, plus much more.

Bringing a legend to life

6th April 2013

In her highly anticipated one woman show, singer and actress Nina Kristofferson examines the strength and vulnerability of jazz star Billie Holiday


Liverpool Everyman
We see an extremely strong
Medea in Nina Kristofferson. She is black, beautiful, and heroic. Nina
is hardly ever off stage and she gives a mesmerizing performance. Her
hurt is tangible, her anger and gall physical. She moves with grace, and
her facial contortions tell a tale of guile and scheming
passionate script is enthralling and spellbinding, especially when
articulated by Kristofferson, an actress of true talent
this is a strong production and well worth seeing. I would award it a well-deserved gold any day

Richmond Georgian Theatre
ANCIENT Greece’s most violent woman dominates the Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond.
All this week, Euripides Medea has been electrifying audiences…
What is unique about this tragedy is the power and dominance of the protagonist, Medea…
An exquisite performance by the Northern Broadside cast makes this production hypnotising…
Nina Kristofferson (right) who plays, or should I say, engulfs the part of Medea, delivers an intensity that many professional actors never come close to.
She is captivating and fully intimidating , she owns, and is possessed by, the script and the stage. A superb performance… role

Glasgow Citizens Theatre
In the title role, Nina Kristofferson is a striking presence, graceful yet hellish in her wrath, the very soul of the gifted barbarian, deceived by her husband and lashing out with thrilling heat and chilling calculation at a society that would suppress an immigrant woman.

Glasgow Citizens Theatre
Nina Kristofferson as Medea puts in a performance of such powerful vitriol that any would-be philanderer in the audience will be sleeping with one eye open for the foreseeable future.

Oxford Playhouse
In its favour, and pretty much its only favour, actor/director Barrie Rutter has cast a striking, sure-footed young black actress, Nina Kristofferson, as the displaced enchantress whose loving devotions have curdled into vengeful hate. In an alluring greeny-blue silky dress, hair cascading down her back, Kristofferson convinces as a wounded tigress – caged by sexist circumstance in Corinth – who suddenly scents victory and the means to have horrific sport with those who have goaded her…
Kristofferson has the makings of magnificence: she holds the stage with clenched authority…
the dividend yielded by her smouldering sense of injustice is one of high watchability…

The Stage
the central performances are crisp and coruscating. Nina Kristofferson’s Medea is a creature of fire and ice, one minute lacerating the ears of the Corinthians with vengeful invective, the next all kittenish as she wheedles and beseeches them.

Liverpool Everyman
In the title role, Nina Kristofferson starts with an intensity that seems must inevitably flag; amazingly, it – and she – doesn’t. On stage for the whole play, uninterrupted even by an interval, she takes us on an intense dramatic journey without ever releasing her grip. Being the only ’’southerner’’ in the cast chimes well

Oxford Playhouse
Nina Kristofferson turns in a powerful performance in the title role, appearing like a bewildered and betrayed…

Liverpool Everyman
two superb actors steal the show, in the lead role of Medea is played superbly by Nina Kristofferson whose very presence on stage was enough for the audience to realise that this is an actor of worthy note and whose acting ability will surely take her ever onwards.

Liverpool Everyman
Kristofferson is often frighteningly convincing in her malevolence scheming,during which she swings from shouting to quiet vulnerability.

Oxford Playhouse
Nina Kristofferson does a fine job as Medea using her body and full range of emotions to express the rage felt by the character. She obviously understands the genre that is Greek Tragedy and works hard to portray her emotions through her movement and clear words…


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