around world cast

Alex Phelps, Wilson Benedito, Genevieve Sabherwal and Eddie Mann

 Picture: Anthony Robling

Around The World In 80 Days

Malvern Theatres


On your marks, get set, go!

In just a few hours, Jules Verne’s fictional character Phileas Fogg circumnavigated the globe from Malvern Theatres to France, Egypt, Japan, America and back again, to name just a few, without even having to leave the stage.

However, this remarkable story, Around the World in 80 Days, was completely overshadowed somewhat by the true story of Nellie Bly.

Who was Nellie Bly you might wonder? I first read about her in the book Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls. Her actual name was Elizabeth Cochran Seaman, but was known by her pen name of Nellie Bly, an American journalist, who in 1890 challenged the fictional 80 day record and made it in just 72 days wearing the exact same outfit for the entire 21,740 miles. It should be renamed Around the World in 72 Days by Nellie Bly.

Alex Phelps portrayed Phileas Fogg as a rather two-dimensional man, very straight laced and set in his ways, not really giving much detail about the countries he visited compared with the charismatic Katriona Brown as Nellie Bly, who set the scene with vivid descriptions, speaking of love, companionship and humanity.

Adapted and directed by Juliet Forster, this humorous retelling includes slapstick and copious amounts of clowning around with gin swilling Passepartout, Wilson Benedito, as Fogg’s companion and knife wielding Detective Fix, Eddie Mann, who seesawed his surveillance across the seas hot tailing it after the a suspicious suspect with rooky reconnaissance.

Genevieve Sabherwal as Princess Aouda wowed with her lightning speed costume changes escaping sacrifice and pointing out misguided portrayals, outdated imaginings and hula hooping the antiquated views into much ridicule.

An action packed, true to the book, mishmash of fact versus fiction managing incredibly to compliment both adventures alongside one another and inform the world about a true female accomplishment that has been so overlooked for far too long.

Tilted Wig presents York Theatre Royal’s production of Around The World In 80 Days at Malvern Theatres until Saturday February 18th, with tickets starting at £14.56, available from the Box Office 01684 892277 or online.

Emma Trimble


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