Cheltenham Rocks

Theatre Review: Around The World In 80 Days

109 characters, eight actors, boats, trains, two dances, one storm, a circus act and an elephant, what more could you ask for from one show?!

This laugh-out-loud performance tells the story of Phileas Fogg and his wager of £20,000 to make it around the world and back in only 80 days, all whilst being pursued by Scotland Yard for his ‘alleged’ robbery of The Bank of England.

Along with his newly employed valet (Passepartout), they set off on their travels where they encounter romance, danger and surprises around every turn.

Having not known much about the play before my visit I really didn’t know what to expect, as in a way I think this only added to my enjoyment of the performance, as every part really was surprising.

They use non-contact for their shows of fighting, which was brilliantly executed – very hard to explain but imagine comedy sound effect with a punch/throw/karate move thrown from 5 feet away, slow motion fight scenes and someone catching a golden bullet in their teeth? Sounds slightly bizarre maybe, but it worked seamlessly. I felt - as the show is also aimed at younger theatregoers - that this sits comfortably with me as a parent because there is no physical contact – plus it was also far funnier to watch!

They use the same minimal set all the way through and the simple design heightens our imagination as the audience. The energetic, eight-strong cast, (not content with impersonating around 100 characters), enlist audience assistance to help conjure illusions, which was brilliant, and not something I have often seen done outside of the Panto World.

A lot of the humour is very tongue in cheek, and stereotyping is on an all time high – but hey it was written over 50 years ago so just go with it.

The magical illusion of Phileas Fogg flinging money across the stage was repeated again and again, but I never tired of seeing it. And from the sounds of laughter around the theatre, it seems neither did anyone else.

For me the stand out character has to be Passepartout played by Michael Hugo. His comical timing, his French accent and demeanour had me captivated from the first time he walked on the stage. Our seats were near the back but despite this, his personality travelled and his over the top facial expressions were clear to see. I likened him to Lee Evans the moment I laid eyes on him and that was the one comment I kept hearing as we left the theatre on the night.

If you want a family-friendly show, full of feel-good fun and even a little romance thrown in, then this is well worth a watch.

Frankie, July 2017


  • Wednesday, 7pm
  • Thursday, 2:30pm and 7pm
  • Friday, 7pm
  • Saturday, 2:30 and 7pm

Book tickets online here