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Whole Hearted Performances!

Around the World in 80 Days adapter by Laura Eason from Jules Verne's classic novel.

Talisman Theatre and Arts Centre. Kenilworth. Thursday 16 March - Saturday 18 March

Review by Ashley Hayward

The Talisman Youth Theatre certainly rose to the challenge of performing Jules Verne’s classic tale of the Victorian gentleman who wagered a small fortune that he could circumnavigate the planet in less than three months!

The gentleman in question was the supremely confident, risk taking and mega rich Phileas Fogg who is faultlessly and powerfully played by 15-year-old Oliver Mason.

He is assisted by his loveably loyal but accident prone French valet Passepartout for whom 12-year-old Orestis Kallipolitis gives a very warm hearted performance. Their transcontinental journey entails several modes of transport including boats, trains, wind powered sleighs and even an elephant!

The play was directed by Caroline McCluskey and the production takes place in a highly imaginative set and makes use of simple props, effects and slick scene changes as we accompany the pair on their extensive travels. Their frenetic itinerary involves several exciting escapades across Suez, the sub-continent, the Far East and the Wild West.

Many of these incidents are initially the result of mistaken identity by the three ‘Fixers’ who mistakenly believe Fogg to be a bank robber and want to get their hands on the reward money.

The entire cast all give whole hearted performances and the production is enlivened by some well-chosen music, acrobatic choreography and entertaining fight scenes. All the actors gave the impression that they were thoroughly enjoying themselves and this was transmitted to an appreciative audience containing many proud family members.

I’m sure that taking part will last long in the memory of this cast of 10 to 18-year-olds but they will also have learned and developed many of the skills and qualities required for adult life. It is remarkable that not only did they manage to give a fun and energetic performance of ’80 Days’ but (if you don’t count the interval) they managed to do it in 80 minutes!

Full marks!

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