On Sunday the 20th of March at 14:15 GMT at the All Saints Centre, Lewes Drama Collective’s Youth Group will start Jules Verne’s famous transcontinental voyage – Around the World in 80 Days.
For those seeking a high-spirited adventure without stepping off British soil, this production offers audiences the opportunity to enjoy a thrilling couple of hours through exceptional 19th century scenery with entertaining characters in beautifully designed costumes worn by a young and talented cast.
The 🗺️ circumnavigation by sea ⛴, rail 🚂, air craft and on elephant 🐘, stars the majestic Phileas Fogg 🎩 who decides to gamble his life’s fortune on being able to travel around the globe from London in less than three months. Joining the Victorian gentleman on the dazzling escapade is the loyal and strong Gallic man-servant Passepartout and together they journey to exotic habitats and the Wild West 🤠 in a somewhat chaotic race against the clock 🕓. Along the way the travelling men encounter individuals from all walks of life and provenance, such as Mr Naidu aboard the Mongolia vessel and the beautiful Mrs Aouda whom they save from certain death.
“Anything one man can imagine, other men can make real.”
― Jules Verne, Around the World in Eighty Days
Originally written by the sci-fi pioneering French novelist, poet and playwright, Laura Eason’s imaginative stage adaptation involves over fifty unforgettable characters which provide our cast members with plenty of roles to discover and perform with special arrangement with Nick Hern Books.
“We enjoyed a fantastic and very memorable performance. As newcomers, we were really impressed and will definitely be booking for future shows.”
Lewes audience member
In 1874, Jules Verne collaborated with Adolphe d’Ennery to create a distinctive version for the stage which has been performed thousands of times in many different countries. Around the World in 80 Days is an enduring tale of a lonely regimental gentleman who leaves the safety and comfort of his London town home to take on an adventure across the globe through which he enjoys life changing experiences and ultimately finds a companion for life.
Since the 19th century, Around the World in 80 Days has been a beloved book that has transitioned to stage, film, radio and animation – Laura Eason’s version specifically was first staged at the St James Theatre in London’s West End in 2015 and is said to “maintain the Victorian eccentricities and period texture”.
Back in 2017, Tim Rowland brought this stage adaptation to Lewes Little Theatre – here’s an account of the production by professional theatre reviewer Lucie Fitchett:
“From the outset this was an assured, lively and engaging production with clever use of contemporary music underscoring the action. Precise and imaginative direction of the opening sequence where Phileas Fogg repeatedly begins each day with his obsessive habits made for a really engaging and comic start to the show.
The casting was very well executed with the actors demonstrating excellent control of their characters and fearlessly comical timing which collectively sense of industry, confidence and group cohesion. This production was an ensemble piece comprising so many imaginative set pieces played with gusto, bravery and admirable concentration involving the whole cast. Dancers, acrobats, and a host of approximately 50 characters were brought to life tirelessly with an infectious joy.
Tim Rowland’s inventive set provided many spaces and levels for the action and the work of the Lighting and Sound crew were intrinsic to the fabric of the show bringing to life the various worlds Fogg and his friends visit.
Many audience members praised how ‘slick’ the show was. In fact, I heard a number of people in the interval who were really impressed with the show saying they hadn’t realised, before coming along, that it was a youth theatre production.”
On behalf of the Lewes Drama Collective, the directors and cast members wish to thank everyone involved, including the invaluable voluntary team members, parents of our talented production participants, the venue and fantastic staff, East Sussex County Council and the Lewes Tourist Information Centre. Also a big thank you also to Lesley Rowland who created the many wonderful set items and props including the magnificent Elephant, Nelly.
We look forward to announcing news of our next shows in due course and welcome those who’d like to try their hand at anything on or off stage – please note that we will be casting for our main Winter productions before the summer holidays begin.
Please note that this is a general admission event that will have some safety guidelines in place, such as mask wearing in the venue.