Robert Portal will embark on a global voyage at the same time as starring on the London stage this Christmas when he leads the cast of Around The World In 80 Days at the St James Theatre.
Portal will play Jules Verne’s iconic character Phileas Fogg in the production, which plays at the Victoria venue from 26 November to 17 January.
The actor was recently seen on the capital’s stage in Communicating Doors at the Menier Chocolate Factory, but he has also proved himself more than capable of Fogg’s ambitious undertakings having rowed 3,000 miles across the Atlantic and run across more than 150 miles of the Sahara Desert for charity.
Portal will be joined in the cast of Around The World In 80 Days by Simon Gregor, who takes on the role of Fogg’s dependable French valet Passepartout. Gregor’s London stage credits include the Almeida Theatre’s 2014 musical thriller American Psycho and To Kill A Mockingbird at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.
My Parents Are Aliens star Tony Gardner (The Rivals and Bedroom Farce, both West End) will be hampering the circumnavigating duo’s progress in the role of Inspector Fix, while Shanaya Rafaat will follow her 2013 appearance in King Lear at Shakespeare’s Globe to take on the role of rescued princess Mrs Aouda.
Joining the globetrotting quartet are Eben Figueiredo (Peter Pan, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) and Tim Steed (The Merchant Of Venice, Almeida Theatre), with further casting still to be announced.
Directed by Lucy Bailey with music by Django Bates, Around The World In 80 Days charts the story of the majestic, mysterious and fabulously wealthy Fogg as he bets his life’s fortune that he can circumnavigate the globe in the titular number of days.
Suitable for all the family, the St James Theatre’s festive offering will feature six trains, five boats, four fights, three dances, two circus acts and an elephant, with a cast of eight portraying more than 100 characters.
Around The World In Eight Days will follow the forthcoming return of Urinetown The Musical writer Greg Kotis, whose new comedy Pig Farm will play at the venue from 21 October to 21 November starring Stephen Tompkinson.