Following a sell-out run at the National Theatre which ends on Sunday 23 January, the hit musical FELA! transfers to Sadler’s Wells this summer for a six week run.
A provocative hybrid of dance, theatre and music, exploring the extravagant, decadent and rebellious world of Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti the production will run at the UK’s leading dance house from 20 July to 28 August 2011. Tickets are on sale from Monday 24 January.
Featuring many of Fela Kuti’s most captivating songs and Tony Award-winning choreographer Bill T Jones’s visionary staging, FELA! reveals Kuti’s controversial life as an artist and political activist and celebrates his pioneering music (a blend of jazz, funk and African rhythm and harmonies).
Alistair Spalding, Sadler’s Wells Artistic Director comments“FELA! has been a huge success both on Broadway and at the National Theatre and I’m thrilled we are now able to bring it to Sadler’s Wells. I have keenly followed the development of the show from its earliest days and it is wonderful to be working once again with Bill T Jones and in partnership with the National. Fela! is an incredibly entertaining combination of dance, music and theatre making it the perfect summer show for Sadler’s Wells.”
Nicholas Hytner, Director of the National Theatre says “Having FELA! at the National Theatre has been thrilling and unforgettable. Bill T Jones, his creative team and brilliant company created an exhilarating experience in the Olivier Theatre, and audiences came in their droves to dance in the aisles – almost half of them visiting the NT for the first time. I’m delighted that the party isn’t over and that London audiences will have another chance to see this extraordinary show at Sadler’s Wells.”
FELA! received its world premiere Off-Broadway in September 2008, where it won the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical, before transferring to Broadway’s Eugene O’Neill Theatre in November 2009 where its accolades included three 2010 Tony Awards®, for Best Choreography, Best Costume Design, Best Sound Design, and an Astaire Award for Bill T. Jones’ choreography. Its hugely successful run at the National Theatre was praised as “a musical of rare choreographic splendour and political bite” (Sunday Times).
FELA! is directed and choreographed by Bill T. Jones, with a book by Jim Lewis and Bill T. Jones, and music and lyrics by Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. Conceived by Bill T. Jones, Jim Lewis and Stephen Hendel, the design and Tony Award winning costumes are by Marina Draghici, lighting design by Robert Wierzel and the Tony Award winning sound design by Robert Kaplowitz.
FELA! is produced in association with Shawn ‘Jay-Z’ Carter, Will & Jada Pinkett Smith, Ruth & Stephen Hendel, Roy Gabay, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Edward Tyler Nahem, Slava Smolokowski, Chip Meyrelles/Ken Greiner, Douglas G. Smith, Steve Semlitz/Cathy Glazer, Daryl Roth/True Love Productions, Susan Dietz/Mort Swinsky, Knitting Factory Entertainment and with Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson.
Release issued by: Sadler’s Wells press office