THE FIRST ever collaboration between two theatres in-the-round opens in Newcastle-under-Lyme for two weeks before transferring to Manchester for a further six weeks.
Around the World in Eighty Days will be staged at , the New Vic Theatre and the Royal Exchange Theatre.
Following last year's record-breaking New Vic run, the same team is bringing Jules Verne's epic tale of Victorian eccentricity, romance and adventure back to North Staffordshire from Friday June 20 to Saturday July 5 before racing off to the Royal Exchange from Thursday July 17 to Saturday August 16.
Directed by New Vic artistic director, Theresa Heskins, Around the World in Eighty Days will see more than 100 characters, eight actors, six trains, six boats, four fights, two dances, one storm, a circus act and an elephant take centre-stage.
Andrew Pollard and Michael Hugo are set to reprise their roles as Phileas Fogg and Passepartout in the production, which promises to be as fast paced as Fogg's own race against time.
Precise, stiff, starched and every inch the Englishman, wealthy bachelor Phileas Fogg wagers that he can circumnavigate the globe in precisely 80 days. With his entire fortune on the line, he leaves London with just a change of clothing, £20,000 in banknotes and his wily manservant, Passepartout.
Racing across the globe, they jump from train to boat to elephant and back again, pausing only to rescue a princess and to battle bandits, buffalo, winter storms and Scotland Yard.
Will they make it back to London in time? Or will a world of trouble mean that the bet is lost?
And having discovered the whole world, can Fogg find his own heart?
Director Theresa Heskins said: "It feels momentous, to be directing this first meeting between two distinctive theatres in-the-round. I hope that our very physical, low-on-tech, high-on-ingenuity house style will be well received on its first ever trip away from home, and that this will be the start of a beautiful friendship."
Around the World in Eighty Days runs at the New Vic from Friday June 20 to Saturday July 5. Tickets, priced from £12 to £21, are available by telephoning the New Vic Box Office on 01782 717962 or online at www.newvictheatre.org.uk.