Around the World - Theatre review

 

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I was unsure what to expect from Hulse’s adaptation of Around the world in Eighty Days, what I witnessed was a high energy feat of storytelling by a hugely talented ensemble cast. I have seen a number of the performances in the pop up theatre and this was one of my favourites. Starting with some Barber shop singing the adventure began.

With the male members of the ensemble taking centre stage for this piece we see Phileas Fogg wager he can circumnavigate the globe in just 80 days with his valet Passepartout (Alessi) at his side, and tracked by Scotland Yard’s Fix of the Yard (Kuppan). For me they were the stand out members providing comedic value in this “traditional style farce” from sliding across the stage to some good old character swapping- very Carry-on esque!

The simple staging saw movement and imagination merge with the cast creating stormy seas, a funeral pyre, steamships, trains and an elephant with ladders, wooden frames, planks of wood and scarves and some speedy costume changes all under the glow of the clock.

The four talented actors, Dan Parr, Joe Alessi, Darren Kuppan and Robert Pickavance take us around the world against the clock. Once Verne (Parr) himself turned up to direct the action, more comedy ensued, tugging at the heartstrings of the audience when his help and interventions were rejected by the cast. He was not left in the cold for long as he found his place in a somewhat exotic outfit (avoiding a spoiler!)

Well worth spending an evening in the company of this mad-cap bunch, so catch it at the Playhouse or when it sets off on the community tour.


 
Rob Wilson