The INFAMOUS adventures of Phileas Fog have been adapted for our entertainment before, but perhaps none as hilarious as The Barn Theatre's latest production. 

The Cirencester theatre's latest show is Around The World In 80 Days and the twist is that it's a cast of only three that will attempt to tell this sprawling adventure tale based on the novel by Jules Verne.

We meet English gentleman Philias Fog, and his French valet Passepartout as they embark on a wager, that it is possible to traverse the entire world in 80 days, but Phileas is being pursued by Detective Fix who is convinced that he is responsible for a bank robbery, and murder. 

What follows is a fast-paced comedic masterclass in slapstick and hijinks as the three travel from country to country and get involved in all sorts of shenanigans. 

The actors Evangeline Dickson (Fix), James El-Sharawy (Passepartout), and Adam Ellot (Phileas) excel in this with an at-times herculean effort, as they also play dozens of other characters between them. 

The self-aware script has been written in such a way as to heighten the amusement caused by this multi-rolling scenario. At one point El-Sharawy must keep switching between the valet and a customs officer at breakneck speed becoming increasingly worn out. At another, a human dummy is used to stand in for a fourth character so that all three can be on stage as well. 

This Is Wiltshire: Passepartout, Detective Fix and Phileas Fog alongside a dummy playing a rescued princessPassepartout, Detective Fix and Phileas Fog alongside a dummy playing a rescued princess (Image: Alex Tabrizi)

There's a moment where one of the actors breaks character and questions why they're playing two different people at the same time when the other actor is lurking on stage for seemingly no reason - 'why can't she do it' they said, drawing lots of laughs. 

In fact, the whole thing drew laughs, clever jokes, repetitive callbacks, silly performances, and moments of bizarre madness all helped make Around The World In 80 Days a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

The show is also supported by clever staging and set, there are trap doors, map projections, moving panels, suitcases, and luggage carts that effortlessly form boats, trains, and bank vaults when required. 

One delightful sequence uses suitcases to form train carriages with the actors taking part in a high-speed chase on top of them.  

Ultimately, Around The World is the kind of brilliantly put-together small-scale show that many places miss out on because they don't have a suitably sized theatre to support them - some are too big, other smaller ones don't have the same technical capabilities

But luckily the Barn Theatre is just a short trip down the A419 to Cirencester and does just that. And Around The World is a hilarious theatrical journey that is well worth that short trip. 

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