Last night I was lucky enough to be invited to watch Around the world in 80 days at New Theatre Cardiff. * I took along three friends who each deserved some cheering up.
I didn’t think I would make it, but I’m really glad I went. As a family show I wish Z was a little older and I did debate taking him along but I think he’s just a little bit too young. There were some children sitting next to me and it was lovely to hear them laugh at points that other members of the audience didn’t. Maybe slightly awkward for the parents when Ann summers was mentioned as the audience laughed, as I could hear the one asking what’s Ann summers! Eekkk!!
I think it could have quite possibly been the best show I’ve seen!
I’m not going to lie, but the opening scene I did think what on Earth am I watching! Is is going to be a mime, are they not going to speak much? Are they going to break in to song and dance?
The stage set up as a staircase made of old suitcases and a cupboard under the stairs and basically that was it with a map of the world behind.
I wasn’t sure on what to expect, and I’m sure at one point my face may have even given that away!
When the show got going I didn’t stop laughing. I think Michael Hugo who played Passepartout stole the show! The show may have been about Fogg ( Andrew Pollard) getting around the world in 80 days but passepartout was just so funny. I’m pretty sure that at some parts he may have even gone off script!
The props stayed the same throughout, but the cast used their bodies which had great effect. So when they were on a train the few suitcases were removed and sat upon with the actors actually bouncing as if they were on a train ride, when they were on a boat they would all be swaying back and forth, even people in the background would be swaying and swaying the tables, I’ve never seen this effect before but it was brilliant.

Everything from the use of lighting helped, blue light swirling on the floor when they were on a boat all added to the effects of being on a boat.
I actually loved the audience participation, again, I’ve not come across this at the theatre before. I’m glad I was at the top and not down the front mind!
At first when the first member of the audience was pulled up I wasn’t quite sure if it was staged, but I don’t think it was! It was possibly part pantomime by this point of the hissing of the one character.
There were parts when I’m still not sure if they actually forgot props, or it was all part of the act either way it worked well and made it just more laughable.
To think the whole show was done on just the few actors was good going, they worked well together.
I wasn’t expecting the amount of action in the show, between the fighting scenes which were just so funny, to the slow motion scenes, again the actors using their bodies for added effect, but the best mode of transport had to be the elephant, it was one of those that’s never going to work, to
is this show for real, but it was brilliant and worked so well. Simple and I’d say stupid but so funny.
When I had told people I was going I had oh I’ve seen that advertised but don’t quite fancy it.
I didn’t know the story, I’ve never seen the old film but I would really highly recommend it.
Around the world in 80 days is showing at New Theatre Cardiff from Tuesday 19th – Sunday 24th September, Tuesday – Saturday evening 7pm and Thursday Saturday and Sunday matinees 2.30pm tickets from £15.50 and can be booked here.
This really is one of those shows you have to go and see, we left laughing and possibly a little sea sick!
* I was gifted tickets for my review, all opinions are my own.

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