🎭 Around The World in 80 Days
📍 Richmond Theatre
🎫 PR invite

Jules Verve’s famous novel ‘Around The World in 80 Days’ has been transformed into a new, vibrant theatrical adaption, directed by Juliet Forster. The Tilted Wig production is a delightful, fun, colourful show, that would make the perfect family evening out!

The story

The story begins with a group of travelling performers, who embark on their most daring venture yet: recreating the adventures of Phileas Fogg. Phileas Fogg of London (Alex Phelps) attempts to travel the world in 80 days, on a wager of £20,000, a bet set by his snobby companions at the Reform Club. Phileas and his newly employed French valet, Passepartout (Wilson Benedito), set out on a race around the world. The 1873 novel is retold with a mix of adventure, comedy and a touch of history that I hadn’t known!

The show does not only focus on Phileas Fogg’s journey; it intertwines fact and fiction, sharing the remarkable story of Nellie Bly, an American journalist known for her record-breaking trip around the world in 72 days. This adaption brings to life the original novel in an exciting and engaging way!

Photo by Anthony Robling

My thoughts

This production is lighthearted, silly at times and has a modern take on Jules Verve’s story. Sara Perks’ stage design is visually stunning, with bright primary colours that emulate a circus atmosphere. I noticed the cast’s microphones weren’t as loud as we would have expected. Some moments also could have benefitted from a bit of background music to add emphasis to the scenes. The pacing felt slow in Act One, but this soon picked up, particularly as we saw more slapstick comedy scenes – including a lengthy circus act that involved tiny bicycles, hula hoops and whips!?

The strong cast of five is completed with Genevieve Sabherwal, Eddie Mann and Katriona Brown, who showcase their talent through energetic multi-roleplaying. I enjoyed Brown’s performance as Nellie Bly; having her story alongside Phileas Fogg’s added a modern, feminist approach to the story. I wanted to snap my fingers in solidarity when Bly exclaimed; “I said I could, and I would. And I did.” Additionally, I really liked how the characters took moments out of the retelling to challenge the traditional text and call out historical inaccuracies and culturally insensitive terms.

Photo by Anthony Robling

Eddie Mann gave a standout performance in the role of Detective Fix. The actor commanded the stage with their impeccable comedic timing, and I found myself laughing out loud numerous times. Mann worked brilliantly alongside Benedito, who also did a great job with the comedy, shown through the moments of audience participation and improv. The improvisation in the show was certainly one of the highlights, adding an element of surprise to the performance. The actors also break the fourth wall, further allowing the audience to become a part of the show. These interactive elements kept us engaged and entertained throughout.

Another standout was the movement direction by Asha Jennings-Grant, which was incredibly inventive The cast was slick with their moves, the scene changes and utilised each and every prop to demonstrate this raucous journey across the globe.

Photo by Anthony Robling

With a unique take on a classic story, a talented cast, and great comedic moments, this production of ‘Around The World in 80 Days’ is sure to be a hit with audiences of all ages.

‘Around The World in 80 Days’ plays at Richmond Theatre until Saturday 20 May 2023!