Around the World in 80 Days review at Scoop London
Straddling the globe in 80 days is no longer an all but impossible feat.
But Jules Verne’s great 19th-century wager feels absolutely contemporary and thrilling as ever in the hands of the Steam Industry, a company that only gets better at overcoming the challenges of outdoor, free theatre to deliver full-hearted family fun.
And, just like the ordinary Londoners of the play’s minor roles, the audience vicariously enjoys the adventures of the amazing Phileas Fogg (Eugene Washington).
His foils are Joseph Wicks as a sprightly Passepartout, who connects with the masses while Fogg towers imperiously above them, and Suzanne Ahmet as Princess Aouda, who matches Fogg’s domineering uprightness with ingenuity and flexibility.
From the first exchange of glances, Aouda and Fogg are destined for each other – an attraction sealed in the very best of the show’s fine songs. The work of composer Annemarie Lewis Thomas and director Phil Willmott, it reinvents the operatic aria and makes it original, genuinely funny and heart-warming.
Willmott is also responsible for the free adaptation of Vernes’ novel that introduces a Mormon with many wives (Farmer Hitch), sung with energy and power by Hadrian Delacey, as well as modern travel irritations, such as leaves on the line.
Scoop, London, August 4-September 4
- Jules Verne, adapted by Phil Wilmott
- Phil Willmott
- Steam Industry Free Theatre Ltd
- Cast includes
- Eugene Washington, Joseph Wicks, Suzanne Ahmet, Hadrian Delacey, Nicky Goldie, Briony Price
- Running time
- 1hr 10mins