Fela!, Sadler’s Wells Theatre

Published: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 16:36 | Review by: Vernia Mengot |
Fela!, Sadler’s Wells
Fela!, Sadler’s Wells

The much anticipated musical Fela! Has arrived at Sadler’s Wells this month and the production saw an audience enjoying the legendary afro-beat music created by controversial Nigerian artist and political activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Played by Sahr Ngaujah, the Olivier Award nominee and leading performer committed to his role as a musical pioneer and introduced Fela! as a self-proclaimed leader to Nigerian civilization.

Fela! which is produced in association with of Shawn ‘Jay-Z’ Carter, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, and choreographed, directed and co-written (with lyricist Jim Lewis) by Bill T. Jones, it’s a showcase to remember. The stage became alive, with spectacular lighting and sound, with authentic African dance. Set in Lagos, Nigeria in the mid 1970's, the storyline revolved around Kuti's musical compilations, mixing jazz, funk and traditional Yoruba rhythms. The production was colourfully captivating, where from the beginning to the end the audience were moving in the seats! The bass shook the theatre with up-tempo beats, bongo drums and classic horns blended with fiery dance and soulful voices.

The audience were taken on a melodious journey; through all of Fela’s triumph and even his troubles. There were lots of laughs and some eye-watering moments, as we were moved by the sounds of the harmonious voices on stage. The production featured some of Kuti’s memorable songs and highlighted his knowledge, appreciation and passion for music.

This Tony award-winning musical is a story that captivates the life of a leader, political humanitarian and the foundation of afro-beat music.

Make sure you don't miss out!

Related links

Afridiziak Theatre News interview with Sahr Ngaujah, Fela!
Fela! the Musical is at Sadler’s Wells until 28 August 2011
*special Afridiziak reader offer* get discounted top price tickets to see Fela
Afridiziak Theatre News review – Fela! on Broadway
Afridiziak Theatre News review – Fela! National Theatre
Afridiziak Theatre News interview - Professor Wole Soyinka

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