Relive 'Around The World In 80 Days' on stage

Feb 18, 2014, 11:33 IST | Ruchika Kher

Come experience a diversity of emotions as five actors play 39 characters in the theatrical adaptation of Jules Verne's classic novel, Around The World In 80 Days, to be staged in Mumbai on February 21

Danger, romance, and comic surprises — Mark Brown’s adaptation of the novel, Around The World In 80 Days, is a whirlwind of a show as five actors portraying 39 characters traverse seven continents in one of the great adventures of all time. And now Jose Thomas Performing Arts Centre (Kochi) in collaboration with B Street Theatre from California, USA, is bringing this play to Mumbai for the first time.

Director Buck Busfield (in blue) with some of the members of the cast

“This adaptation is decidedly comedic and almost farcical. It is fast, furious and full of fun,” says Buck Busfield, the director of the play, adding, “We are delighted by the opportunity to share our work with India. I’ve been to several plays in Mumbai and find the audiences so smart and so insightful that we are hoping that they will enjoy the play.”

A still from the play, Around The World In 80 Days

The play revolves around Phileas Fogg, who agrees to an outrageous wager to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days.

The wager puts his fortune and his life at risk as he, along with his faithful manservant, races to beat the clock.

The production will see five actors donning 39 characters in the two-hour play. “Using few actors makes for a lighter, less serious production; it provides theatricality and, of major importance, saves money,” Busfield cites the reasons for having an intimate cast.

Actors during a play rehearsal 

While they have not made any changes to the script, the director reveals that they are rehearsing in a different setting to acquaint themselves to the change they would have to adapt to while performing in India. “We are rehearsing in a small venue with a deep thrust; we’ll have to flatten the staging out a bit in our India performances,” he shares.

Busfield also spells out the challenges and avers that rehearsing the play in the US is the easy part. “Setting up in three different venues with different stage dimensions will be the challenge,” he sums up.

On February 21, 7.30 pm
At Tata Theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point.
Call 22824567
Tickets Rs 1,200, Rs 1,000, Rs 700, Rs 500 and Rs 350

Bombay is in the book, too!
“As for the wonders of Bombay, its famous city hall, its splendid library, its forts and docks, its bazaars, mosques, synagogues, its Armenian churches, and the noble pagoda on Malabar Hill, with its two polygonal towers — he cared not a straw to see them. He would not deign to examine even the masterpieces of Elephanta, or the mysterious hypogea, concealed south-east from the docks, or those fine remains of Buddhist architecture, the Kanherian grottoes of the island of Salcette.”
— Chapter 10, Around The World In 80 days

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