After its resounding success in Lagos, ‘Wakaa! The Musical’ went ahead to make history as the first Nigerian musical to run in London at the Shaw Theatre.
Earlier in 2016, the musical which satirizes the political situation of Nigeria sold out with over 10,000 viewers in 12 shows in Lagos.
Riding on the wave of its Lagos success, Bolanle Austen-Peters, who put together the show set her sights on London- a feat which also recorded resounding success after selling out 7 shows at the Shaw Theatre in 5 days.
Speaking ahead of Wakaa!’s closing night at the Shaw Theater in London, Austen-Peters implied that Wakaa! might be going to Broadway in America.
She said, “If we’re here in London, who says we can’t go to America.”
Austen-Peters further recounted how she was told by a London-based PR firm that she was overestimating interest among the diaspora and British citizens by booking the 446-capacity Shaw Theater.
According to Austen-Peters the firm had said, “Please can you go and get a refund, because you’ll be lucky if you get 50 people.”
Despite the discouragement, Wakaa! sold out all of its seven shows for the 5 days it ran in London—on the closing night of the musical, people were reportedly outside the theater hoping to purchase any spare ticket for up to £200.
See photos below:
Watch the BBC News spotlight on Wakaa! The Musical’s London opening night below: