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Competition & Shanaya Rafaat on ‘Around the World in 80 days’…

Competition & Shanaya Rafaat on ‘Around the World in 80 days’…

NOW CLOSED – Winner announcements
Updated story: December 30 2015
Original comp posted December 17 2015

Competition update:

WE ARE DELIGHTED to announce that we have two winners to our Christmas competition – Nickie Chapman and Rachael Simmons answered our question correctly and came out of the bag first in the prize draw of winning entries.

The answer to our question – what character does Shanaya Rafaat essay in the play, ‘Around the World in 80 days’? – is contained in our Q&A with the star actor below. She, of course, plays the mysterious and beautiful Mrs Aouda.

Well done, Nickie and Rachael, we know you will have a great time – it’s a wonderfully entertaining and funny adaptation on a classic tale.

Thanks to all those who entered, and bad luck this time…do remember that you can still use the code below to obtain HALF-PRICE tickets for some of the best seats in the house.

So wishing you all a very fine, and happy 2016!

HAVE TWO PAIRS OF TICKETS to give away for “Around the World in 80 days” – a fun action-packed play that will take you back not just in time, but to the early days of theatre – with more than a little touch of panto, vaudeville and slapstick fun, all for good measure!

You will be tickled, amused and entertained and it will be great fun for all the family…

It’s a delightful romp through Victorian times with many arresting characters and there is much physical comedy that will have you virtually rolling about in your seat.

We saw it at a matinee and loved the theatrical tricks – with old fashioned ways of creating sound effects, a pompous Englishman, Phileas Fogg, and his always keen to please French valet, Passepartout, embarking on the challenge and the journey of a lifetime…

Will Fogg (Robert Portal) and the exuberant, constantly excitable Passepartout (Simon Gregor) be successful in their task and just why is Inspector Fix (Tony Gardner) on their globetrotting trail and who is the mysterious, beautiful Mrs Aouda?

It’s not often we’re as impressed as this and it’s only right we share the good stuff with friends.

What better way to ease yourself into 2016 and have something to look forward to after the Christmas break.

There’s also a SPECIAL TICKET OFFER just for ACV readers…so read on….with the best tickets in the house going for HALF-PRICE (See below for details).

These tickets are available for the evening peformances only from January 3-17.

What do you need to do win the tickets? You need to answer the following question – the answer is in our Q&A with actor Shanaya Rafaat below.

Question: What is the name of the character that Shanaya Rafaat plays in “Around the World in 80 days“?

Please send your answer to by December 28 12pm 2015 with your full name and contact details over the xmas period. Please use an active email or provide a mobile number, otherwise you might miss out! Please also put ‘competition’ in the subject line.

All correct answers go into a prize draw. The winners will be notified by email or text. One pair per winner. You must be aged 18 to win the tickets and live in the UK.

Around the World in 80 days” is staged at one of the capital’s newest and most impressive theatre venues – St James, in Victoria, just a short walk from the mainline station. If you haven’t been there, here’s your opportunity to see a fun play and enjoy the facilities, including a beautiful restaurant and spacious cafe/bar…

You can can also get value tickets for the best seats in the house…for acv readers, they are ONLY £17.50, usually £35, for evenings performances from January 3-17. Readers should quote ‘80 Days‘ at point of sale (either online, on the phone or in person at the box office).

Look out for more competitions and offers next year with!


AW80days.Photo Simon Annand (ACV): Please tell us a little about your character and their situation in the play…

Shanaya Rafaat (SR): My character Mrs Aouda is a widow from Bombay (Mumbai) who is rescued by Mr Fogg and Passepartout from being burnt alive on her husband’s funeral pyre (a practice called ‘Sati’ which was outlawed under the British Raj) and then joins their expedition around the world. She is an intelligent, feisty woman who challenges the very precise and practical Mr Fogg and tempts him to rethink his world view.

ACV:It’s quite fast paced, there’s a lot going on. What do you most like about your own part and the play and the way it’s been written by Laura Eason and directed by Lucy Bailey?

SR: I like that Laura Eason has given Mrs Aouda more of a voice in the play. She’s quite a strong character in the book but doesn’t really say much and I’m glad she gets a chance to express her opinion and join in the action with the rest of the boys.
Lucy Bailey, our director, was wonderful at encouraging that as well, she delights in actors getting physically involved and improvising as they explore their characters and she’s given me so much freedom to play with the character and allow her to blossom into a strong, capable woman who eventually goes after what she wants.

ACV: In the play, the characters get to see a lot of the world, what’s your favourite place (other than home, obviously) and why?

SR: I visited New York last year when I was touring with the Globe Theatre’s production of King Lear and it has become one of my favourite cities. It’s so fast paced, diverse and alive. And it was thrilling to walk down Broadway!

ACV: Where would you most like to visit (money being no object) and why?

SR: I would love to travel around South America. I love the food, the culture, the films. It’s on my bucket list.

ACV: Back to your life in the theatre, what has been a particular highlight?

SR: Before I went to drama school I did a tour of A Midsummer Nights Dream, which travelled around the UK, India, Australia, US, Canada and Italy. The director Tim Supple gathered together actors, dancers and acrobats from around India and Sri Lanka and we rehearsed at a ‘theatre laboratory’ in Pondicherry for two months. It was a wonderful artistic/ life experience and I loved visiting all the different cities and performing in theatres across six countries. My favourite venue was the Teatro Romano, an ancient Roman open air theatre in Verona which now hosts operatic performances. The thought that it had stood there for centuries and that actors had performed in this space up to two thousand years ago was quite overwhelming. It is one of the highlights of my career.

ACV: Finally, can you tell us about what you are going be appearing in next?

SR: A new political drama called ‘Stateless’ directed by Trilby James at the Tristan Bates Theatre (central London) from January 19-23. It’s one half of a double bill of one act plays, so audiences can enjoy two very different and thought provoking plays in one evening. Both pieces are two handers which is both challenging and rewarding as an actor. They are part of the two week annual Talkback Festival produced by Kali Theatre which showcases new theatre by women writers from a South Asian background.
Kali is one my favourite theatre companies not least because they encourage and develop the work of women playwrights but also because they avoid the easy trap of exoticising or packaging South Asian culture in easily recognisable, stereotypical formats. Their work is current, topical and challenges preconceptions.
Kali Talkback 2016: January 11-23 at Tristan Bates Theatre. A collection of script in hand readings and fully staged productions of ten new plays by South Asian Women writers.
‘Stateless’ & ‘She is Not Herself’ will be running from January 19-23

More info/tickets:

Don’t forget to use the code ‘80 Days‘ at point of sale, either online, on the phone or in person at the box office to enjoy the amazing discount on the best seats in the house!

Top picture: Cast of Around the World 80 days by Simon Annand; Shanaya Rafaat and Robert Portal (Phileas Fogg) by Tristram Kenton

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Written by Asian Culture Vulture