Theatre Review: AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS – The Grand Theatre, Blackpool

The cast of AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS. Photo Credit: Grand Theatre, Martin Bostock

The cast of AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS. Photo Credit: Grand Theatre, Martin Bostock

Set to 1980s anthems, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS is a comical and light-hearted take on Jules Verne’s classic story

3.5 out of 5 stars

The show opens with the uplifting 80’s hit ‘Celebration’ and the audience immediately start clapping and singing along as Phileas Fogg and the five other cast members welcome us with their dancing and singing in their bright 80’s attire.

This comical and light hearted performance tells the story of Phileas Fogg played by Andrew Bentley and his faithful servant Passepartout, Oliver Mawdsley, as they have 80 days to travel the world to win a wager between him and his friends at the great Reform Club. Fogg discovers at the start of the show that his father has stopped funding his lavish lifestyle, leaving him to find his own way in life. 

The cast of AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS. Photo Credit: Grand Theatre, Martin Bostock

The cast of AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS. Photo Credit: Grand Theatre, Martin Bostock

The six cast members each play different characters throughout Fogg’s journey from reporters to villains and Egyptian dancers. There are very simplistic ways of showing the changes of transportation- a small boat on a string is dragged across the stage as they sail, sheets represent waves during a storm and a mini elephant even moves across the back of the set which all adds to the light hearted tone of the show.

The set remains the same throughout, very simple cardboard signs are turned to show when it has changed from ‘Phil’s residence’ to ‘The Reform Club’ or stages of their journey like ‘Italy to Egypt’.

The cast of AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS. Photo Credit: Grand Theatre, Martin Bostock

The cast of AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS. Photo Credit: Grand Theatre, Martin Bostock

There are lots of funny moments during this fun and entertaining Blackpool Summer show, particularly from Oliver Mawdsley in his fantastic performance as french Passpartout and Laurie Denman as the hilarious Vaudevillain.

Although the show tells the story of Fogg’s journey, the audience are more interested in singing along to the classic 80’s hits such as: Don’t You Want Me? (The Human League. No. 1 1981), Loveshack (B-52’s 1989 No.2), Take On Me (Aha 1984 No.2), Locomotion (Kylie Minogue 1988 No. 2), Give It Up (KC & the Sunshine Band 1983 No.1), and the all time favourite which ends the performance- Come On Eileen (Dexys Midnight Runners 1982 No.1).

Strongest vocals are undoubtedly from Justine Kehinde whose rendition of I Want To Know What Love Is (Foreigner 1984 No.1), gives you goosebumps.

For a light hearted, fun evening with anyone who considers the 80’s their favourite decade, this show is worth a visit.

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS runs at The Grand Theatre, Blackpool until 31 August 2019.