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FELA Musical

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by Kat Parr Mackintosh (subscribe)
Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
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In this instance Fela! doesn't refer to a cheerful cockney chappy, it refers to Fela Anikulapo Kuti, a Nigerian musician and composer, credited with being the Grandaddy of Afrobeat.

That gives you an idea of the style of the performance it's a very, very excitable musical, using much of Fela's own music but it doesn't give a full impression of the themes. As well as being a trailblazing and inventive musician, Fela Kuti was also a highly political man at one stage he campaigned to be the President of Nigeria and this show follows his colourful life. Make that very colourful. In rousing technicolour.

The show focuses on a time in Fela's life after the coining of the word Afrobeat, but before the Presidential campaign, when he'd created his own micro-political state, in a commune which held his famous nightclub: 'The Shrine'. As you might imaging this in itself was considered a provocative political statement, so 1000 government soldiers were sent to 'sort him out'. So expect to feel a lot more than just the powerful, stirring rhythms.

Last year Fela! was on at The National Theatre, but Sadlers Wells is a much more suitable venue for this exuberant dance-y musical. The role of Fela in this production is played by Sahr Ngaujah, who was nominated for a Tony Award when he played Fela on Broadway. The choreography is by Bill T. Jones who you might be familiar with if you move in contemporary dance circles and who also directed and co-wrote the show.
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Why? Everyone needs more colour and energy
When: 7:30pm, matinees 2:30
Where: Sadler's Wells Rosebery Avenue London EC1R 4TN
Cost: From 15
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