After almost a century and half, Jules Verne’s Around The World in 80 Days remains an adventure story to amaze and amuse.
The classic 1956 film with David Niven and the 2004 version with Steve Coogan are among countless adaptations for stage, screen and radio, but it’s a story always worth retelling.
You might say it’s ‘timeless’, except it’s anything but – it’s all about time: from Phileas Fogg’s daily clockwork routine in London to the precise timetabled planning of his journey, to the significance of Passepartout’s pocket watch being steadfastly on London time, wherever he is in the world.
This latest production from New Vic Theatre is appropriately fast-paced (except for some very funny slow-motion sequences), entertaining and imaginatively-staged.
Andrew Pollard is dignity and gravitas personified as the English gentleman, Fogg, while Michael Hugo throws himself (literally) into the role of Passepartout – an engaging and energetic performance, which brings to mind the physical comedy of Lee Evans, but with an Inspector Clouseau-style French accent.
Just six more actors make up the entire cast, playing over 125 characters in a highly inventive show, which delivers laughs, gasps and suspense for audiences of all ages.
Around The World in 80 Days opened at The New Theatre tonight (Tuesday) and runs until Saturday (24 September) as part of a tour of England and Wales. For full details and to book tickets, please visit newtheatrecardiff.co.uk or call the box office on 029 2087 8889.
Review by Andrew Weltch