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Around the World in 80 Days

Adapted by Laura Eason from the novel by Jules Verne

Royal Exchange Theatre, 22 July 2014

Michael Hugo as Passepartout in AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS (Royal Exchange Theatre 17 July - 16 August). Photo - Andrew Billington

Michael Hugo as Passepartout in AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS (Royal Exchange Theatre 17 July – 16 August). Photo – Andrew Billington

This is a lovely, lively production of Jules Verne’s classic novel.

There is a serious point to the story, of course, all about how the world has grown small, due to the human inventions of the railway and the steam ship. It’s of a piece with the enthusiasm of impressionist painters for trains and gaslight.

But that’s all to the side.  The play itself is a boisterous romp which showcases the cast’s aptitude for comedy and physical theatre.  There’s visual comedy, kung-fu fighting, picturesque characters aplenty.  Myriad sources of mayhem and mirth. Michael Hugo as Passepartout, Fogg’s valet, stands out, but in truth all the actors are playing at the top of their game.

Warm as sunlight, scrumptious as gepulo ice-cream, this play is ideal summer fare.

Around the World in Eighty Days is showing at the Royal Exchange until 16 August, further details are here.

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