On Saturday we went to see the latest production at the Royal exchange in Manchester – a new adaption of Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days, a favourite book of mine when I was young having read it when I was about 10 years old ( a very long time ago).
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but it turned out to be an excellent evening’s entertainment. The rest of the Royal Exchange’s recent season have been more mainstream plays, but this was a boisterous, light hearted production with lots of mime, slapstick, acrobatics and at several points, they even managed to involve members of the audience. It was rather like a summer time pantomime at times. It was performed at a frantic pace by a small cast of only 8 who played over 200 parts whizzing us around the world in a tad over 2 hours. With minimal props they managed to convincingly portray various modes of travel by train, ship, wind powered sled and even an elephant.
All the cast were good. Michael Hugo was marvellous as Passepartout. Dennis Hardman an oily Inspector Fix and Andrew Pollard a tongue in cheek Phileas Fogg.