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Robert Portal to Lead AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS at St. James Theatre

Casting is announced today for Around the World in 80 Days, which will run at the St. James Theatre from 26 November 2015 to 17 January 2016, with press night on 3 December 2015. Leading the cast in the role of Phileas Fogg will be Robert Portal, who, in challenges reminiscent of Fogg's own quest, has rowed 3000 miles across the Atlantic in The Talisker Whisky Challenge and partaken in the Marathon des Sables, running over 150 miles of the Sahara Desert in six days, raising money for charity in both instances.

Simon Gregor will play Passepartout, with Tony Gardner as Inspector Fix, Shanaya Rafaat as Mrs Aouda and Eben Figueiredo and Tim Steed in the ensemble. The final two ensemble members will be announced in due course.

The production will be directed by Lucy Bailey and composed by Django Bates, as previously announced. Set design is by Anna Fleischle (Hangmen, Royal Court Theatre), lighting by Chris Davey and sound by Mic Pool. The producers are Simon Friend Entertainment, St. James Theatre Productions and Ros Povey Productions.

Robert Portal's recent theatre credits include Communicating Doors (Menier Chocolate Factory), Grand Guignol (Theatre Royal Plymouth), This Was a Man (Finborough Theatre), A Little Hotel On The Side (Theatre Royal Bath), The Doctor's Dilemma (National Theatre), Henry IV, The Rivals, The Transit of Venus, Loves Labours Lost and The Merchant of Venice (all RSC). His film credits include Iron Lady (Pathe), Mr Turner (Thin Man Films), The King's Speech (SeeSaw Films) and My Week With Marilyn (Trademark Films).

Simon Gregor previously worked with director Lucy Bailey on King Lear (Theatre Royal Bath) and The Taming of the Shrew (RSC). Other theatre credits include: Things We Do For Love (Theatre Royal Bath), American Psycho (Almeida Theatre), To Kill a Mockingbird (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre), Uncle Vanya (Belgrade Theatre Ltd), The Miser (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), The 39 Steps (Tricycle Theatre) and The Late Henry Moss (Almeida Theatre). Simon is also known for playing Moustache in the film Welcome to the Punch, directed by Eran Creevy. Other film credits include The Statement (Odessa Films), Bodywork (Automatic Films), Last Seduction II (Specific Films) and The Island on Bird Street (M & M Prods). Television credits include Ripper Street, Da Vinci's Demons and Doctor Who.

Tony Gardner is an actor and a doctor, who performed in the award-winning medical comedy duo 'Struck Off and Die' with Dr Phil Hammond. His theatre credits include The Rivals (Theatre Royal Bath, tour and Theatre Royal Haymarket), Bedroom Farce (Rose Theatre and Duke of Yorks) and When There's a Will (English Touring Theatre). Television credits include The Tracey Ullman Show, Fresh Meat, Last Tango in Halifax, My Parents are Aliens, Bremner Bird & Fortune, The Thick of It, Lenny Henry in Pieces, Cold Feet, The Armstrong and Miller Show, Lee Evans - So What Now and Drop The Dead Donkey. His film credits include Cockneys Vs Zombies and Mad, Sad and Bad.

Shanaya Rafaat's recent theatre productions include King Lear (Shakepeare's Globe & Tour), Twelfth Night (CustomPractice), The Illusion (Southwark Playhouse), The Malcontent (White Bear Theatre), A Midsummer Night's Dream (RSC & World Tour). She has also featured in the television shows Dr Who (BBC), Lewis (ITV) and Silk II (BBC). Films include Schadenfreude (Simon Pickup), Honeycomb Lodge (Honeycomb Lodge Ltd), and Complicit (Many Rivers Complicit Ltd).

Eben Figueiredo's recent theatre productions include 15, 16, 17 (Old Vic New Voices), Peter Pan (Regents Park Theatre) and Pitcairn (Chichester/ Out of Joint). Other productions include Courting Drama (Theatre Reneegade), The Suit (The Young Vic), East End Girls and Dream Girls (Italia Conti).Eben has also worked on a wide variety of National Youth Theatre productions including Speakers House Event, Matt Smith Project, Social Inclusion Project, Olympic Welcoming Ceremony and Diana Bliss Tribute.

Tim Steed's theatre credits include The Crucible (Manchester Royal Exchange), The Merchant of Venice (Almeida), Hero (Royal Court), Rocket to the Moon (National Theatre), Salome (Headlong), Much Ado About Nothing (Open Air Theatre), Pride (Royal Court) Oliver (Edinburgh NYT) and An Inspector Calls (Garrick Theatre). Television credits include Wolf Hall, The Great Fire, Fresh Meat, London Irish, Twenty Twelve and Peep Show. On film, Tim has appeared in The Imitation Game, Franklyn and Dark Ride/D.O.D.

The majestically mysterious, fabulously wealthy Phileas Fogg wagers his life's fortune that he can circumnavigate the globe in just eighty days. Join Fogg and his loyal valet, Passepartout, as they voyage from the misty alleys of Victorian London to the exotic subcontinent and the wild west in a race against the clock. A cast of eight play more than 100 characters in this high-spirited, imagination-filled escapade for all the family.


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