The currently touring production of Jules Verne’s classic book Around The World in 80 Days has made a pit stop in London in the beautiful Cadogan Hall, just off Sloane Square. The play follows Phileas Fogg who gambles his fortune to prove that he can navigate around the globe in 80 days with the help of his valet Passepartout and strangers they meet along the way.
The cast is led by Andrew Pollard as Phileas Fogg, who breathes wonderful life and heart into a character that could be easily be interpreted as a boring, old, rich man. But the real star of the show for me was Michael Hugo as Passepartout. He is undeniably charming and often steals the show with his wit, his humour and his ukulele at the start of act two. They are backed up by a very talented ensemble of 6 who play various characters in the different locations our protagonists visit.
Laura Eason’s play adaptation is hilarious and heartwarming. The comedy aspect of the show reminded me of slapstick comedies. A combination of Theresa Heskin’s direction. Beverley Edmunds direction of movement and the physicality of the actors, the play’s humour and heart comes from the funniest and most physical scenes. Beverley Edmunds’ direction of movement is undeniably clever. While there are a good few fight scenes, I found it so refreshing that the actors never make contact with each other.
The play takes you on a whirlwind trip around the world from the comfort of the auditorium. The set has a constant projected backdrop of the globe to show where the characters were in that particular scene. The pairing of Lis Evans’ simple but effective set design and James Earls-Davis sound design helps enhance the locations of the characters, making the audience included in the trip around the world too.
Ashamedly, this is one classic I’ve never read, so I went into the show with a completely open mind and I left the theatre feeling elated. The humour is right up my street, slapstick humour doesn’t always translate well on stage but this production nails it on the head without a doubt. This is the type of show that is perfect to take the family to this summer.
For more information and tickets please visit http://www.80dayslive.com/
Until next time,
* Just a quick disclaimer, I received tickets for this production through the production’s press representative and all opinions stated here are my own. The production photos used here also came from the press representative, except the featured image which is my own photo.