The idea of writing a musical first came about in the Summer of 2001 – Toby had already written a lot of music and songs for plays, and Peter had already written a lot of plays, including Much Ado About Shakespeare. Eventually, the boys got together one drab evening in the March of 2002. Having hurriedly written their first song, all 16 bars of it, entitled “Top of the food chain”, a song about two amoeba called Bob and Dave who had evolved in to dinosaurs, they decided perhaps they should use an already popular story as a chassis to screw their unique humour to, and attach a washing line to it, to which they could peg songs to. The result was “Eighty Days – The Musical”, which premiered at the Compass Theatre, Ickenham, on November 12th 2003, performed by the Purple Theatre Company, and performed again in Christchurch in 2007.
It was later adapted as a radio play performed live for the 10th anniversary in front of as many of the original cast as possible at a pub in the middle of the Hertfordshire countryside somewhere, we forget exactly. It’s ultimate version being a complete rewrite for radio (with a few familiar sections) performed at the Lamb Inn pub in Surbiton. Both radio versions can be heard on this site by going to the ‘spoken word’ menu item. Below is the entire original production from 2003, but first, a little synopsis…
It was only a matter of time – in many senses! Loosely based on Jules Verne’s popular novel, Around the World in 80 Days, this fast-paced light-hearted musical comedy follows the adventures of a nineteenth century English gentleman and his French Manservant as they are tricked into attempting to tour the globe within the eighty days of the title. Featuring a completely original score and script, the show has been developed exclusively for the Purple Theatre Company by a team including the creators of Much Ado About Shakespeare.
Danger, romance and comedy intertwine as the our heroes make their way through worlds far removed from the civilised dignity of Victorian London. Can English sang-froid survive when whist and port are replaced with gibbon-on-a-stick? Will their well-laid plans survive the combined efforts of man and nature to stop them succeeding? Armed only with a guide book, a large and attractive bag of money and the occasional elephant, our heroes are about to find out. Come along and enjoy the ride!