Charging into the Royal Exchange this month fresh from a hugely successful run at The New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Around the World in 80 Days is a charming tale full of fun, frolics and fabulousness!
Adapted from the novel by Jules Verne, Laura Eason’s production is an absolute treat. Showing at the Royal Exchange until 16th August, this co-production is fast paced, clever and 100% entertaining. The small cast of eight do an exceptional job of playing an huge variety of characters from around the globe, an impressive 102 in all, ranging from a mighty Indian elephant to a back flipping, high kicking Yankee doodle dandy.
The show tells the story of Phileas Fogg, (Andrew Pollard), who in 1872, after a wager of £20,000 made at the Gentlemen’s Reform Club, makes a mad dash around the world in an attempted 80 days, a journey at the time considered to be utterly bonkers. Taking with him his newly appointed Valet, Jean Passepartout, (Michael Hugo) the unlikely duo embark from London on their madcap adventure determined to be back on home soil in the allotted time.
Special mention must go to Michael Hugo who plays the hilarious nice but dim Jean Passepartout, if Norman Wisdom had a French cousin then this is him.
The boundless energy from the dynamic cast on one of the hottest nights of the year is remarkable. The action is fast paced and vibrant each and every member of this small cast is exceptional, the talent on stage immense. Director Theresa Heskins has made use of the unique space in the Royal Exchange beautifully. Special mention must go to Michael Hugo who plays the hilarious nice but dim Jean Passepartout, if Norman Wisdom had a French cousin then this is him.
Choreographer Beverley Edmunds’ expertly crafted martial arts scenes are hilarious, hugely impressive and an absolute highlight amongst the many exceptional scenes in this show. Dennis Herdman plays police detective Inspector Fix brilliantly, panto villain perfection amusing without being predictable, he follows Fogg around the world mistakenly convinced he’s stolen his fortune from the Bank of England. Amongst all the madness is the cool, calm and totally unflappable Fogg, Andrew Pollard plays this true English gent with style, sophisticated and elegant throughout.
Around the World in 80 Days is one of those productions that you see and want to see again and again and tell everyone you know to bag themselves a ticket immediately! A production for all the family to enjoy it’s the prefect summer holiday treat.