The story of how Phileas Fogg travelled around the world in 80 days is as famous today as when it was first written by the French writer Jules Verne in 1873. Adapted from the book to the stage, Laura Eason has brought alive this lovely tale and is currently on tour stopping for two nights only at the Playhouse.
The mysterious and fabulously wealthy Phileas Fogg wagers his life's fortune that he can circumnavigate the globe in just 80 days. With his French valet Passepartout, they set off for a journey they will never forget, spurned on by his fellow club members of the Reform club who are adamant that such a journey is not possible
This is certainly a busy show and the eight strong cast make it seem so effortless running around the stage. They bring alive the cities that Fogg and Passepartout pass through using very little props and costumes, with only the suitcases dotted around the stage and bits of costume, animals from the jungle and the many train and ship journeys are created.
Although the main story is focused on Fogg reaching London on time to win his bet, the majority of the journey we see Passepartout and, hot on his heels, Inspector Fix. These two definitely win over the hearts of the audience, with Dennis Herdman as Inspector Fix striking the right balance between panto baddie (even getting booed on occasion) and frustrated policeman. What makes this show a delight is the slapstick comedy that is so very well performed by Michael Hugo who plays Passepartout. There are many fight sequences that are choreographed beautifully by movement director Beverly Norris Edmunds. Hugo's physicality makes him a joy to watch and with Andrew Pollard as the charming and ever so English Phileas Fogg, this is a show that will entertain the whole family.
An evening of pure entertainment, this production is funny and wonderfully performed by an incredible cast. This adaptation brings a touch of magic to the stage, using simple but effective ways to engage children in a visual way.