Around The World in 80 Days, Theatre Royal Norwich
What a tonic this madcap comedy is for a chilly January evening. It is slick, fast moving, and very, very clever.
Based on a novel by Jules Verne from the 1870s, it tells the tale of the wealthy eccentric Englishman Phileas Fogg who wagers his fortune that he can and will circumnavigate the world in 80 days.
So there is much to go at - the days of Britain having an Empire, the rapidly developing transport system and, of course, British reserve finally broken!
Just eight actors play an impressive 125 characters and improvise with all manner of things to create boats, trains and even an elephant – you have to see it to believe it. They are incredibly
hard working as the pace doesn’t let up for a moment, with Michael Hugo as the clownish valet Passepartout really excelling.
The specially composed score by James Atherton keeps up with the pantomime feel and it really is a glorious romp.
So, does Phileas do it? Well, that would be telling. If you haven’t read the book or seen one of the film versions, the ending has a very satisfying twist.
The show continues until Saturday, visit www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk