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Around the World in 80 Days

14th February 2023 - 18th February 2023

 

Tilted Wig presents York Theatre Royal’s production of Around the World in 80 Days By Jules Verne Adapted and directed by Juliet Forster

Based on the novel by Jules Verne and adapted and directed by Juliet Forster, this brand-new, fun and colourful family production tells the story of Around The World In Eighty Days as you’ve never seen it before.

A band of travelling circus performers embark on their most daring feat yet: to recreate the adventures of Phileas Fogg as he sets off on his race around the world.

But this is a telling of two tales; fact meets fiction as we learn the incredible true story of American journalist Nellie Bly who emulated the character of Phileas in her record-breaking trip around the world.

Watch the drama unfold as our skilled performers traverse every country, embrace each character and navigate every mode of transport, as two tales intertwine on a madcap journey around the globe.

Book now for this brand-new comedy drama that’s perfect for families who love circus, dance and adventure too!

Best for ages 5+
Run time: 2 hours 15 minutes (including interval).

 

Details

Start:
14th February 2023
End:
18th February 2023
Event Categories:
, ,

Venue

Festival Theatre
Grange Road
Malvern, WR14 3HB

Other

Price:
Tues Eve & Wed Mat: All Seats £14.56 (no concessions or discounts)
Wed-Fri Eves: £30.24, £26.88, £23.52, £20.16, £16.80
Saturday: £34.72, £31.36, £28, £24.64, £21.28
£2 Concessions Over 60s/Unwaged
Under 26s, all seats £16.80
Members discounts apply
Prices include 12% booking fee
Show Times:
Tuesday 14th to Saturday 18th February
Tuesday 7.30pm Wednesday 2.30pm & 7pm
Thursday & Friday 7pm
Sat 2pm & 5.30pm

Event Reviews

  • Sophie

    Well done! A very nice adaptation. Amazing performers. Hope to see you again!

  • Caroline

    It was amazing, a very entertaining show with a mixture of slapstick, gymnastics, drama and education. I overheard a laconic teenage boy say that it was good. So cancel your plans for Saturday and book tickets, only 2 performances to go.

  • The View from the Stalls

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ An imaginative re-telling of the classic story

    When it comes to off-beat productions, Tilted Wig have an excellent track record, having already brought their versions of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Murder, Margaret and Me and Great Expectations to the Malvern stage.

    Their latest show, played out on what resembles a colourful circus arena, could be their most adventurous yet, bringing us all the fun of Jules Verne's Around The World In 80 Days, traversing the entire globe with just 5 actors.

    Whilst this is pure fiction from the pen of the French author, alongside it runs the true story of American Nellie Bly who did actually complete the journey in less time than it took the imaginary Phileas Fogg (72 days) and, in this show, Bly serves as a useful competitive element as they both take on the challenge. This meeting of minds is obviously fictional too but Bly did actually meet Verne during her journey.

    So with his trusty companion Passepartout (who gets given a number of other mickey-taking names during the show) at his side and a host of other characters, Phileas takes us on a trip across the continents and oceans, using a minimum of props such as ladders and hoola hoops in energetic performances, particularly during the stormy seas sections and circus clown sequences. Throughout the journey, there is the presence of Detective Fix, who firmly believes that Fogg is a criminal but who struggles to arrest him as the warrant to do so never arrives on British soil in time as they progress across the world. This was one of the most enjoyable characters to watch, played by Eddie Mann. Alex Phelps is Fogg, Wilson Benedito i s the very French Passepartout, Genevieve Sabherwal is Aouda and Katriona Brown is the acrobat and Nellie Bly, though with a small cast, each actor plays numerous roles during the show.

    Whilst the performances were all excellent and played at times directly to the audience (including one ad-lib to an audience member and a mention of Malvern too), there was a definite issue affecting the sound on opening night. Two of the actors' microphones made them sound like they were talking into a bucket, so muffled was their speech. This was particularly noticeable during the "gin drinking on a seesaw" session (yes, really!) where the detective's voice was, as usual, clear as a bell yet it was hard to understand what Passepartout was saying (and not just because of the French accent!). This did not diminish the overall impact of the show, however, which demonstrates that with imagination and skill (and the lack of a hot air balloon!), even the most complicated stories can be brought to life on stage.

  • Showtime! John Philpott

    In the American murder ballad Frankie and Johnny, the faithless lover is shot dead over his association with a woman called Nellie Bly.

    He was her man, but he done her wrong, so the song goes. And until this week, that’s the only Nellie Bly I’d ever encountered.

    But there was indeed another person of that name, and she certainly seems to be more deserving of fame than the deceased Johnny’s bar room temptress.

    For this other Nellie Bly appears to have been a woman who completely turned the 19th century male-dominated world on its head, a trail-blazing feminist and visionary who was way ahead of her time.

    For in a direct challenge to the hero of Jules Verne’s classic tale, this real-life heroine managed to get around the world in not 80, but 72 days.

    Travelling light, she took only one outfit and a single hold-all bag. Imagine just a single frock on a 10-week jolly. That must be some feat all in itself, girls, yes?

    Bly was a journalist and lived a life arguably far more colourful than Verne’s character. Born Elizabeth Jane Cochran in 1864, and one of 15 children, she pioneered investigative journalism, reported from the Eastern Front during the First World War, and became one of America’s leading businesswomen.

    Tilted Wig’s hilarious take on Verne’s story moves along at a breakneck pace, utilising all the visual humour in the circus skills storeroom.

    Katriona Brown is magnificent as the endlessly fearless Bly. She circumnavigates the globe under the increasingly resentful gaze of Phileas Fogg, who must witness his achievement eclipsed by a mere woman.

    Alex Phelps doubles as the fabulously fogey Fogg, and the circus ringmaster, the former role a sort of cross between a cartoon cad and Dick Dastardly, only minus Muttley.

    While much of the focus is on the key characters, the story is beautifully embellished by Genevieve Sabherwal's trick rider, Wilson Benedito’s clown, and Eddie Mann’s gumshoe detective, a cop who sounds as if he’s overdosed on vintage Dixon of Dock Green episodes.

    It’s said that Jules Verne used his Phileas Fogg persona as a device to extrait Le Michel out of the stiff upper lip British. Hey, that’s fine. After all, it’s only fair, bearing in mind that ever since Agincourt, we've had endless mirth and merriment courtesy of the French.

    Tilted Wig director and adaptor Juliet Forster has undoubtedly noticed Verne’s sub texts, hence the occasional bursts of Edward Elgar, particularly appropriate given this week’s setting for the show.

    My only minor criticism is that the production is a tad too long. I would have preferred a little less dialogue and a few more visuals. But other than that, Around the World in 80 Days is well worth the ticket money.

  • Weekend Notes - Alison Brinkworth

    The reason behind this Tilted Wig production is a well-meaning one from when Covid lockdowns were making everyone go stir-crazy. Unable to travel, Juliet Forster got the idea of creating a play that would bring the world to the audience instead.

    And what better book to turn to than this, Jules Verne globe-trotting classic! Adapting it to stage proved not as expected as Forster noticed little detail about far-flung places and that's when she looked to the articles of real-life female Philias Fogg, Victorian Journalist Nellie Bly.

    What Forster has produced is a fresher, alternative version of Around The World in 80 Days that is fun, energetic and bang up to date culturally.

    I caught the UK tour of Around The World in 80 Days at Malvern Theatres , where it stays until Saturday February 18 - but it is touring until July. The same old story is in there with refined, unemotional gent Philias - in fact, it's more true to the novel than many TV adaptations- but overlapping his journey is also Nellie Bly's.

    Aimed at anyone over five years old, the small likeable cast makes references to outdated views of nationalities and empires in a jokey fashion, so it addresses them lightly and updates the story for a new generation.

    The quickly adapted set uses a circus tent to transform the scene on this worldwide journey with a nifty sign to let everyone know where we are. It's the fascinating acting and creativity used in this clever production that enables the world to come to Malvern.

    Using a scarf to recreate an elephant and a ladder to re-enact a perilous train journey are imaginative additions that reach out to all ages. All the cast take on several roles and are in fine form.

    Alex Phelps leads as Phileas but Eddie Mann as Detective Fix following the hero steals the show by adlibbing and adding even more hilarity to the show. Katriona Brown is an enticing Nellie Bly that will surely encourage youngsters to go on their own adventures while Wilson Benedito as Passepartout and Genevieve Sabherwal as Aouda impress as Phileas' main companions.

    While it's got a circus theme, don't expect to be dazzled by any stunts as they mainly revolve around twirling some hula hoops and balancing on a see-saw. There was room to improve on those.

    Ultimately it's the slapstick fun and interwoven stories that provide a fun, fresh version of this age-old classic. Kids will adore it but this captivating play is a clever, intrepid treat for all ages.

  • What's on Worcestershire - Sue Hull

    It’s easy to forget that not so long ago, travelling across the globe was a very difficult and long-winded undertaking. Jules Verne’s classic adventure story, Around The World In 80 Days - here adapted for the stage by Tilted Wig and York Theatre Royal - offers a fun-filled reminder of a time when exotic climes really were ‘a world away’.

    In keeping with Verne’s 1872 novel, this family-friendly production tells the story of English gentleman Phileas Fogg’s attempt to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days on a wager of £20,000. But this new adaptation is no straightforward retelling of the terrific tale. Added into the theatrical mix is the task of recounting another story - a true one this time, about trailblazing American journalist Nellie Bly, who, in 1889/90, completed her own record-breaking trip around the world in just 72 days!

    The stories are told by a madcap band of travelling circus performers - a ringmaster, an acrobat, a clown, a trick rider and a knife thrower. The five work together flawlessly, brilliantly playing numerous parts and, along the way, incorporating swift costume changes and splendid circus performances. Their comic timing is a joy to behold as well.

    The set is impressive, too - well designed and modelled on a circus. Props such as hoops, ladders, boxes, bicycles, a see-saw and a trap door have several uses, enabling the cast to create boats, trains, carriages and even an elephant!

    There’s also a scroll at the front of the set, turned by the actors, which helps guide the audience through countries visited and oceans crossed.

    Time is also taken to address problematic aspects of the story as it unfolds - such as instances of sexism and racism - acknowledging that the 19th century was a very different period of time with very different attitudes prevailing.

    This is a fantastic feelgood show that’s suitable for people of all ages. The slapstick humour and high jinks, evident throughout, provide many an enjoyable laugh-out-loud moment, while the cast’s high-energy enthusiasm makes for a brilliantly entertaining theatrical experience.

  • Val Wallcroft

    This madcap band of performers set off to re-create the adventures of Phileas Fogg and his madcap troupe of friends and performers. Their daring escapades taking their endearing troup - including characters like Nellie Bly......who is she!?

    This famous Round the World Race, written by Jules Verne. of colour , adventure and fun.

    Full of action, the cast in this production have to contend with fascinating characters from around the globe, fun and action is what this production has plenty of! .....Do they complete their task and make the 80 days?! Everyone joined in the countdown and the audience showed their appreciation with their deserved applause at the cleverly choreographed finale and mad-cap tricks galore!

  • Fairy Powered - Julie Bellerby

    This adaptation by Juliet Forster is suitable for all ages of theatre goers. It combines the story by Jules Verne along with the real life experiences of journalist Nellie Bly, who completed her trip around the world in less time than Phileas Fogg.

    Presented on Stage by the Tilted Wig Productions Theatre Group which has been performing and touring plays since 2017, was founded by Katherine Senior and Matthew Parish along with the Theatre Group Creative Cow Company have produced and toured plays have 16 years’ experience together.

    The stage was very impressive when we took our seats, it was bright and colourful like a circus tent where the story took place. There was some acrobatics and much slap-stick humour throughout, I feel more practice with the acrobatics is required, it was not confidently performed. This is only the 3rd theatre in the tour so hopefully this will improve. You needed to have a good imagination to picture the various scenes.

    With a team of 5 actors lead by Alex Phelps playing Phileas Fogg, who commanded the stage well, with Genevieve Sabherwal, Wilson Benedito, Eddie Mann and Katriona Brown all performed well together with good timing on stage for a smooth production.

    The lighting was impressive, designed by Alexandra Stafford, it changed to reflect countries and the mood of the characters well, subtly completed without the audience necessarily realising the changes were happening. With production Design by Sara Perks, Sound by Edwin Gray and Costume Supervisor Hazel Jupp, and all brought together by Director Juliet Forster, it was a light hearted, easy watching, and funny production.

  • Kathie Hodges

    Adapted skilfully by Juliet Forster with Tilted Wig Productions, the much loved Jules Verne tale, Around the World in 80 Days~first published some 150 years ago~has been thoughtfully bought to the stage in a circus theme production. Telling the tale of Phileas Fogg played by Alex Phelps, and his wager that he could travel the world in under 80 days.

    It’s no easy feat to bring a story of travelling the world to the stage. It was achieved by keeping the eye catching circus set throughout, and with a simple sign change at each stop which let’s the audience know exactly where in the world they are.

    Instead of opting for elaborate backdrops a change of accent, costumes, and props allow the viewer to conjure fascinating foreign climes.

    Along the journey, we meet various other characters including Passepartout, played beautifully by Wilson Benedito, Phileas’ faithful servant, and Detective Fix played by Eddie Mann, who provides the comedic charm and regularly brings in the laughs.
    Unexpected though was the character of Nellie Bly, (played by Katrina Brown) the real-life female journalist equivalent to Phileas Fogg who in fact did in 1889 travel the world in 72 days and set the record for it.

    Quite an achievement for a single woman at that time.

    The two stories are told simultaneously, initially much to the disgust of Fogg who wants his character to be the main character.

    Bly ignoring any attempts at sexism, insists a woman can play a leading role, and continues to share her own experiences on her eight stops with a far more detailed and romantic description as only a skilled reporter would, in comparison to that of stiff upper lip Fogg who had very little interest in describing where he was in the world, and only interested in time keeping.
    Sensitive topics are covered in a light hearted way, occasionally a narrator will step in and explain any potential queries, and out of date views.

    Though the show has a circus theme, with slapstick comedic scenes from Passepartout and detective Fix, who wrongly believes that Phileas is a bank robber, and is throughout trying to trick Passepartout into spilling the beans on his master, tricking him into getting drunk so he will forget to tell him the departure time in Hong Kong has been changed, so as to stall him, while slipping and sliding on and off a seesaw ~ the show manages not to slip into pantomime style but rather manages a friendly nod to the art of the Circus.

    The cast of five did a wonderful job. Each taking on their many roles with great energy and enthusiasm.

    My eight year old enjoyed the story and was willing Bly to make it around the world in record time to beat Fogg.

    The synopsis states that it is suitable for age 5+ and so this is the perfect holiday entertainment.