Reflections on the 2023 Senior School Production

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Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong

Once again our Senior School students blew us away with their production of Around the World in 80 Days, adapted for our stage from the classic novel by Head of Drama (Senior School) Helen Bamford and Year 10 student playwright Coll M.

The two shows were completely sold out; packed houses of parents, teachers, and students enjoyed a whirlwind trip around the world.


Over 130 Senior School students in total were involved in the production. But this was not a straight re-telling of the Jules Verne novel.

In our adaptation, twin stories played out on the stage, one set in 1872 starring Phileas Fogg and one set in modern times with a student on a gap year who reads the original novel and is inspired to re-trace Phileas Fogg's steps. These two sets of travelers then criss-cross the globe providing clever commentary on how some things have changed and some things haven't.


Balancing and intertwining these two stories required incredible coordination and impeccable timing which our cast and crew pulled off with ease.

In addition, the production employed fantastic physical performance set pieces such as the train riding scenes where the actors conjured up the common feeling of jostling down the train tracks and the lurching of the cruise ship from side to side in the open ocean. Elements like these really expand the dramatic repertoire of our students.


Of course, no Senior School production would be complete without a little song and dance and the Bollywood number (choreographed by Year 13 student Anavi P) had the audience up and dancing in aisles.


Ms. Bamford writes, "Our dramatic intention for this particular adaptation is to celebrate not only Phileas Fogg's amazing race to traverse the globe, but also our own unique journey through recent years, and all of our determined hopefulness that we would emerge from all the travel restrictions to see the world open up again to us. And wouldn't you know it, in the midst of rehearsals, the world went and did just that!"


Congratulations to the cast and crew on another successful performance!