Around the World in 80 Days

80-s-Simon Gregor (Passepartout) and Robert Portal (Phileas Fogg) in Around The World in 80 Days at St. James Theatre. Photo Simon Annand

Simon Gregor (Passepartout) and Robert Portal (Phileas Fogg) in Around The World in 80 Days

Guest reviewer Patrick Lambe attended the opening night of Around the World in 80 Days at St James Theatre. See what he made of it here:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

80-The cast of Around The World in  80 Days at St. James Theatre. Photo Simon Annand

Creativity abounds  in Lucy Bailey’s brilliantly inventive production as hands deliver props from out of trap-doors in the floor, sheets are flapped for sales or elephant’s ears and an electric fan is employed for a blizzard. Presented on a rough-hewn set, random items such as bicycle wheels are amongst the studied inventiveness of Anna Fleischle’s design.

There are many similarities between this and another highly physical adaptation, The 39 Steps, still enjoying a lengthy West End run.  Both panoramic tales have as their hero an incorruptible square-jawed Englishman, and as Phileas Fogg, Robert Portal is the epitome of unflappable Empire sangfroid.  Interestingly, the actor has also appeared in the aforementioned 39 Steps, as has his sidekick, Simon Gregor, who plays his valet Passepartout with assured physicality.

The cast of 8 work tirelessly to populate the stage with bustling crowds from around the world and there are other notable individual performances. Tim Steed is master of the instant vignette while Tony Gardner as Inspector Fix who trails Fogg on his globetrotting journey, nearly steals the show as he delivers yet another asinine policeman remark, and his fisticuffs scene with Passepartout was particularly well executed under the movement direction of Lizzie Gee .

There is a touching love story at the heart of this tale and Shanaya Rafaat as Mrs Aouda is a charming and strong heroine, just as capable of hauling on a rope in an emergency as encouraging the emotionally myopic Phileas to appreciate the beauty of his surroundings.

It is perhaps Phileas’s emotional journey which is insufficiently charted, and dramatically, we need to see this develop if the show is to make any visceral impact. In many ways though, this is a first class family frolic and writer Laura Eason has ensured that any vital exposition is inserted in all the right places while still sounding natural and unforced.

Patrick Lambe

 

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Anne Reid: I Love To Sing

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Anne Reid appears once more at The Crazy Coqs in a new solo show I Love To Sing. Wonderful anecdotes. Read my review here: Continue reading

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Open Mic Highlights Show – Monday 2nd November

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Mychelle Colleary and Harold Sanditen

Open-mic at Crazy Coqs still goes on strong with Harold Sanditen at the helm, and occasionally deputised by the fun-loving and droll Mychelle Colleary.  I have sung at a few times myself lately and always glad of the opportunity to do it.

One of the spin-offs from the Open-mic is an occasional highlights evening, which gives a few people a chance to do a little more than one song and start to form a programme. Such experience when working on a new cabaret is, as you would imagine, invaluable for the singers and a great opportunity for the audience to see a selection of artists and potential shows in development.

The next Open Mic Highlights Show is on Monday 2nd November and will feature  lovely jazz singer Melissa Cantzlaar, Alex Affolter– also a jazzer, the sweet and quirky Robert Jerome and singer-songwriter Suzanna Woods.

Go – you’ll enjoy it.

Fiona-Jane Weston

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Madalena Alberto: Don’t Cry For Me

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Madalena Alberto stages intriguing debut at St James Studio. Read about it here: Continue reading

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Sally Ann Triplett: Elephants to Broadway and Back Again

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Musical theatre star Sally Ann Triplett brings her cabaret to the Crazy Coqs. Continue reading

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The Dreamers

Dreamers

Community musical piece on the Great War performed with passion and commitment. Read review here: Continue reading

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5th London Cabaret Awards to be voted for by public!

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Announcement: the 5th London Cabaret Awards to be voted for by public, not judging panel. Read more here Continue reading

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Amanda McBroom: Noir – Songs of Love

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Another eloquent and stimulating evening from Amanda McBroom – this time on a new theme of film noir. Continue reading

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London Festival of Cabaret 2015

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The London Festival of Cabaret has kicked off again with a launch at Crazy Coqs. For details of many of the shows, read here: Continue reading

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Two Faced: Roulston and Young

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Sarah-Louise Young and Michael Roulston return to the Crazy Coqs for a 3 night run of their original and funny show Two Faced. Read my review here: Continue reading

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