Around the World in 80 Days: Performers' physical interpretation of character (build, age, height, facial features, movement, posture, gesture, facial expression)

Around the World in 80 Days: Performers’ physical interpretation of character (build, age, height, facial features, movement, posture, gesture, facial expression)

Character Interpretation

  • Phileas Fogg: As the main character, his physical attributes should reflect his stoic and disciplined personality. Actors may choose to portray him as tall and slender with strict posture and minimal gesturing to reflect his methodical nature. His facial expressions must be controlled, inscrutable and rarely showing emotions.
  • Jean Passepartout: Fogg’s loyal and much more expressive valet, Passepartout, allows for a more dynamic physical performance. Actors could present him as shorter and physically agile, with his movements showing his adaptability and resourcefulness. His facial expressions should be animated, displaying extensive emotions.
  • Aouda: As a princess with a royal lineage, her posture should be poised and graceful. She might be portrayed with refined and delicate gestures. Aouda’s facial expressions should reflect her dignified demeanour, but also display the deep well of emotions she feels as the narrative progresses.
  • Detective Fix: This character might be portrayed as a middle-aged individual with a sturdy build. His hand motions should reflect his tenacity and single-minded pursuit of Fogg. His facial features could be hardened and stern, showing his determination and doggedness.

Core Performance Principles

  • Consistency and believability: Remember that the actors’ physical interpretation of their characters should be consistent, believable, and support the overall narrative of the play.
  • Historical and cultural contexts: Consider the historical period and cultural contexts of these characters when crafting their physical attributes. For instance, Victorian era etiquette might influence Fogg’s posture and movement.

Space and Interaction

  • Use of space and interaction: Use of space and physical interactions between characters are also important in conveying relationships, power dynamics and emotional states.
  • Contextual reactions and interactions: Pay close attention to how the characters react to different situations and how they interact with their settings—this will significantly impact their movement, posture, gesture, and facial expressions.