Kiddies school just started, (office) projects lists getting longer by the day, just as light is getting scarcer and days shorter? Weak pound plus already into bleak autumn weather? Wanderlusting (secretly or not) and daydreaming escapes ? Look no further and embark on Around the world trip in 80 days!
We departed the adventures right from Sloane Square and its beautiful Cadogan Hall couple of days ago. I took along my friend and her boys aged 9 and almost 12; they laughed, questioned, giggled and enjoyed.
8 fabulously talented actors are multitasking vividly and creatively through France, Italy, Egypt, India, Japan, the States and back to London. There are trains and steam boats, an elephant, flights, a sledge, circus, intriguing plots and lots of adventures.
Most of us know the story. The most predictable man, Phileas Fogg goes for a bet with his usual whist partners and embarks on a challenge to go round the world precisely in 80 days.
His valet is Passepartout, a Parisian cheeky and resourceful, hired the same day as the adventure starts. He has been seeking to take a break and live the quiet life between the 4 walls of his room but ends up dragged in the madness and beauty of the round the world. Initially Passepartout is the only one enjoying the trip as Mr Phileas Fogg prefers his books to the local experiences.
It takes a saved princess for Mr Fogg to come alive, start observing and interacting with the exotic lands and characters. The cultural clichés are enchanting, hilarious and well intended – Italians, French, English and American cowboys alike.
Aside from the geographic trip around the world, Mr Fogg goes through a personal journey and transformation. Phileas Fogg leaves London in an uninterested mode, passive collector of stamps in his passport, not willing to spend any time getting to know the travelled lands but just resorting to his books and cards games. He gradually starts getting involved thought-out the journey, saving widowed princess Aouda, sorting various means of transportation, bargaining and negotiating his way out – all gracefully and funnily done just throwing impressive quantities of money. Back in London, he is a changed man: mathematical precision out of the window (together with his fortune), marrying exotic and willing to embrace a commoner life. Luckily around the world trip Asia route involves gaining an actual 24 hours, so we witness a true happy ending – bet won, fortune and valet kept, love and happiness found.
Jules Vernes story is translated on stage joyously and delightfully from beginning to end. Wanderlust ticked. Artistic senses tickled. Banter and frolicking fun with vivid characters on a wonderful journey ticked. Convenience ticked. Around the world in 80 days now embarked on a National journey around UK – grab your tickets for a proper treat!
Disclosure: Many thanks to Kenny Wax Family Entertainment for the complimentary tickets , same brilliant team who brought us THE Bear Hunt. It’s been a sheer delight to be there and write about.