Legendary Nigerian musician Fela Kuti has a story worth telling. So as with all great stories, it was only a matter of time until people across the globe began to hear it.
Born in Nigeria in the thirties, Kuti created music that attacked the countries’ oppressive military regime and gave voice to Nigeria’s underclass during the seventies and eighties. The creator of Afrobeat, he was also a spectacular showman, as well as being an infamous polygamist who famously married 27 women on the same day in 1978.
A biographical musical about his life opened on Broadway at the end of 2009 to rave reviews – and thanks to the financial backing from superstars Will Smith and Jay-Z, the story of the Nigerian renegade’s extraordinary life as a musical pioneer, political activist and notorious womanizer went on to win three Tony awards and later, a sell out run at the National Theatre in the capital.
The vibrant musical now comes to Sadler’s Wells from 20th July with the original Broadway star Sahr Ngaujah reprising his Tony nominated role of the dynamic and free-spirited Fela.
With incredible choreography and more than ample material to shock, move and inspire in equal measure, it’s not to be missed. Just like the man himself, Fela! promises to be a true force of nature. (Words: Aoife Moriarty)
Fela! is on at Sadler’s Wells until August 28th. For more info, click here.