Norwich Theatre Royal Review: Around the World in 80 Days a sublime, slapstick spectacle

Around the World in 80 Days

Around the World in 80 Days - Credit: Archant

Eight countries, six trains, five boats, four fights, a circus and an elephant all on one stage.

Around the World in 80 Days

Around the World in 80 Days - Credit: Archant

Yes, Around the World in 80 Days has circumnavigated its way to Norwich's Theatre Royal.

Jules Verne's adventure novel published in 1873 has been adapted for the stage by Laura Eason.

The high-speed, globe-trotting adventure was more like Physical Fogg than Phileas such was the emphasis on choreography and movement.

It was a slick, slapstick show with some incredible slow-motion set pieces reminiscent of some of the scenes from The Matrix - the 1999 sci-fi action movie starring Keanu Reeves.

Around the World in 80 Days

Around the World in 80 Days - Credit: Archant


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Incredibly, the 125 characters were played by a cast of just eight.

Andrew Pollard starred as the mysterious, well-heeled, fantastically wealthy Fogg.

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But it was arguably Michael Hugo who stole the show as his side-kick (Passepartout).

Hugo, who has more than a passing resemblance to comedian Lee Evans put in a hilarious, hyperactive, high-energy performance not dissimilar to the now retired Evans in his prime.

His rubber-like face and limbs contorted every which way to bring big laughs bursting from the audience.

Add to that the sublime staging, some great ad-libbing and a wealth of audience interaction - with some of those watching given the chance to be part of the action on stage - and it made for a terrific two hours.

The show was truly out of this world and is not to be missed.

Around the World in 80 Days runs until Saturday. To book, call on 01603 630000.

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