Monday, 10 January 2011

FELA! The Musical

FELA! Musical at National Theatre

I went to see the award winning musical Fela! at the National Theatre, Southbank, on Thursday as part of my birthday weekend treat and what an amazing show!

 My FELA! ticket & programme

Produced by Jay-Z and Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, FELA! explores the controversial life of musician and political activist, Fela Kuti, played by Sahr Ngaujah.

Fela created the music genre, Afrobeat, which is a blend of jazz, funk and African rhythms.  The musical is set at Fela's final concert at The Shrine in 1978, six months after the death of his mother where the story of his life is told by the star himself.

 Fela Kuti

The show is filled of two and a half hours of songs and dance routines by Fela and his amazing dancers. Unlike most shows, the Fela! musical actively encourages the audience to stand up and dance which of was absolutely brilliant!

The vivid costume and makeup designs were my favourite part of the musical by far.  FELA! has already won three Tony Awards for Best Costume designs and you only have to see the first few minutes of the show to know why.

Fela! costumes include every type of pattern, texture and vibrant colour from vintage fabrics to simple textures, as well as belts, strings, beads and fur all made to shake and shimmer along with the dancers.

 Cast of FELA!...fabulous costumes! 
The entire audience (minus a few misery guts – as expected!) danced along to the songs which created a really fun atmosphere for the show – considering all the songs had serious political messages reflecting the issues affecting the world i.e. corruption, cultural imperialism, and social issues.

Despite this, FELA! is an uplifting musical tale that will have everybody dancing as it covers issues from civil rights, political corruption, love and freedom and of course the entire Fela Kuti back catalogue of songs for the audience to enjoy.

Check out this videoclip of the FELA! musical I managed to take at the end...enjoy!

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