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  • Show was a 'breathtaking journey'

    By Ron Ellis

    Around The World In 80 Days

    Playhouse Theatre

    HEAVEN knows what rehearsals must have been like if the action-packed aerobics on display in this show were anything to go by.

    Actually, this was as much a circus as a play and, to their credit, the cast displayed an agility worthy of any Big Top performers, actors Chipperfields and Bertram Mills would have died for.
    With the minimum of props, most of them being large packing cases doubling as, among other things, an elephant, buffalos and a staircase, the stage constantly changed its identity, one minute a train, then a boat, next a prison, you name it.

    Star of the show was Michael Hugo as Passepartout, the aide to the esteemed businessman, Phileas Fogg (Andrew Pollard), who sets out to win his wager that he can travel round the world in 80 days from London to America and back, calling at Bombay, Hong Kong, Calcutta and others along the way.

    Hugo’s rapport with the audience was one of the highlights of the evening. Playing his ukulele, he brought people up onto the stage and made up songs to sing to those in the front stalls. This in addition to his notable acrobatic activities.

    Nyron Levy, a man who looked like he could give heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua a run for his money, showed considerable gymnastic skill as Captain Sopeedy while Charlie Chaplin look-alike, Dennis Herdman, played the shifty Inspector Fix with sinister guile.

    Equally dynamic were Pushpinder Chana, Matthew Ganley and Joey Parsad who made up the rest of the cast.

    There was even an unlikely bit of love interest at the end when Mrs Aouda (Kirsten Foster) persuaded a reluctant Fogg to marry her.

    Music and sound effects blended in perfectly with the action and the timing of the whole cast in their carefully rehearsed athletical moves was impeccable.

    Directed by Theresa Heskins, this was a welcome return to Liverpool for a show that will always stand the test of time.

    And time is what this story is all about.

    Star rating: 7 out of 10. A breathtaking journey.

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