Fela! wanted in Nigeria

Choreographer Bill T. Jones reveals he has been contacted by officials at the Nigerian Ministry of Culture to take the play, based on the music of celebrated Afrobeat icon Fela Kuti, to Africa in October (10).

But Jones, who won a Tony Award for his work on Fela! on Sunday (13Jun10), admits it is proving difficult to schedule the trip – because the 1 October (10) Independence Day falls just three weeks before Fela! is due to open in London’s West End.

He says, “The (London) production happens in October. The 50th anniversary of the independence of Nigeria happens at the same time.

“We have been invited to do a performance there (in Nigeria) by Fela’s daughter and the Ministry of Culture there. It’s a little bit of a problem because it happens before we open at the National Theatre in London. The National Theatre is very supportive of it, but it’s just three weeks before the London (launch). But we do want to be there.”

Nigeria won independence from British rule in 1960.