Matt and Lily had a brilliant evening at Around the World in 80 Days at Liverpool Playhouse. It’s on until Saturday 20th April 2019.
With a spartan set, 8 actors, and a handful of props the cast of Around the World in 80 Days perform the famous globe-trotting story with brilliant physical performances that tap straight into your imagination to create the world of Phileas Fogg and Passepartout.
Actors joggle up and down on suitcases to create train carriages, they sway to left and right on tables and chairs whilst on ocean liners, elephants are brought to life with blankets and string and an improbably heard of Bison make an appearance at one point thanks to some pillows! The whole performance is fantastically inventive and Lily aged 8 who I watched the show with was mesmerised from start to finish.
The show uses misdirection and suggestion and from the very start you just go with it and fill in the blanks with your minds eye. The familiar story races along with each scene lasting no more than 5 minutes as the energetic actors come and go with new props, simple costumes and many funny jokes for all ages. The show is completely child friendly. While you may need to explain a couple of plot points that race past all the humour is appropriate and it was great to see Lily use her brain to work out the locations from the props on stage.
The fight scenes are ingenious with the two or three performers slugging it out from opposite ends of the stage 10m apart in super slow motion reacting with over the top flourishes to every movement of their remote opponent. There is circus tumbling, Bollywood dancing, improvised songs to audience members and most importantly a lot of fun from start to finish.
The central performances from Andrew Pollard (Fogg), Michael Hugo (Passepartout), Kirsten Foster (Mrs Aouda) and Denis Herdman (Inspector Fix) are all superb and engaging. At points they all give a nod or two to the audience as if to say “Yes we know this is crazy too”. We are all in on it and it’s brilliant.
At the end to the performance the cast must be absolutely exhausted as there is barely enough time for the audience to catch breath yet alone the actors.
We’d definitely recommend you book tickets!
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