Jules Verne’s

Around the World in Eighty Days

Adapted and directed by Sean Aita
Music by Leo Elso

22 June – 5 July at 9:30 p.m. / Fort Lovrjenac

Every evening except 30 June

Tickets: from 30 to 50 €

Ticket Sales:
Buy online at www.ulaznice.hr
Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Pile / Luža, Stradun
Box office at the venue one hour before the performance

Join us on a madcap journey around the world in the company of Mr Phileas Fogg and his servant Passepartout but remember to set your watches to comedy time!

This world premiere production of a new musical version of Jules Verne’s classic tale promises to be an entertaining romp filled with romance and adventure. Look forward to slapstick, can-can dancers, balloon rides, a train crash, a journey on an elephant, and some catchy tunes in the beautiful setting of the fortress of Lovrjenac in Dubrovnik. Written by award-winning English playwright and director Sean Aita with a score from actor/composer Leo Elso who recently appeared in The Grinning Man in London’s West End.

The ultimate English gentleman with his traditional ‘stiff upper lip’ and his obsession with punctuality, Phileas Fogg has become a very familiar character to audiences all around the globe who love to see him struggling with a series of disastrous mishaps as he tries to win his bet.

Commissioned especially for the Dubrovnik audience, the Midsummer Scene Festival will be providing the perfect entertainment for a summer’s evening in this production, so book your tickets quickly and we will whisk you around the world in ninety minutes!

Even Jules Verne, ‘the father of science fiction’, would envy us on such speed!

Photo:  Vedran Levi

A Word from the Director…
First published in 1872 as part of a serialisation of the story in the French newspaper Le Temps Jules Verne’s adventure story Around the World in Eighty Days (or in its original language Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours) has remained a firm favourite with readers and also with theatre and cinema goers.  The technological changes that made Phileas Fogg’s journey into a possibility also inspired the modern package holiday as Thomas Cook organised the first ever ‘round the world trip’ for tourists one year after the book was written. One possible inspiration for the story may have come from the American traveller George Francis Train who made four trips around the globe in the 1800s and many whose experiences echoed those of Mr Fogg in the novel. In fact, he claimed that Verne had ‘stolen his thunder’ and that he was actually the genuine Phileas Fogg.

The story has been adapted multiple times, so why make another version?  Well, the simple answer is because the story is such an entertaining one, and the question of whether or not it is a good thing that the world has become more and more accessible is one which we are still trying to resolve.  Jules Verne was taking a subtle, but razor-sharp look at English colonialism through his protagonist, the ‘stiff-upper-lipped’ and unflappable Phileas Fogg who barely seems to notice where he is whilst he is crossing the globe.   He also provided literature with the first interracial relationship (between Fogg and Mrs Aouda) in a nineteenth century novel, something which remained avant-garde until surprisingly recently.

This new musical adaptation emerged from a close artistic collaboration between composer Leo Elso and I and we hope that we have managed to bring a strong flavour of the original whilst adapting some aspects of the story to suit a sophisticated modern audience. It has been great fun collaborating with designer Roberto Surace whose vibrant and contemporary approach to the costumes has enriched the production immensely.

Sean Aita

… and the Composer...

Dear cherished, beautiful, and stunningly clever audience,

What a thrill it is to welcome you to our version of Around the World in Eighty Days! As a French person, I can say that Jules Verne is a matter of national pride. His works are woven into the very fabric of France, the very DNA of every baguette. He has inspired the greatest creative minds across history: from cinema pioneer George Meliès to the Imagineers of Disneyland, to perhaps the most important artist of all time, and the universe, Jackie Chan.

Frankly, it was about time that lesser minds would bring their own spin to monsieur Verne’s œuvre, and so here we all are.

From the moment I set foot in the breathtaking Fort Lovrjenac for last year’s production of Romeo & Juliet, I was yearning to see a musical brought to life within these walls. Little did I know I was going to be entrusted by our outrageously fabulous producers with the task. A task that fills me with joy, pride, and quite frankly, fear.

But fear is part of the journey, and with my long-time collaborator Sean Aita by my side, whose friendship and trust I’m forever grateful for, and the talented cast and creatives assembled, even the craziest of voyages seem achievable.

To respect the organic nature of the space, I focused my composition on folk and acoustic instruments, aiming to create an intimate feeling with the audience and avoid any style of music that could be dated to a certain era. The music will be performed live by the actors themselves, a true display of triple –  if not quadruple – threat talent typical for London productions. Please feel free to connect with these songs and our company and give us the warm welcome Dubrovnik is known for. If you like our show, please tell everyone around you. If you don’t, please don’t tell Mr Verne. I hear he writes very sternly-worded letters and it would break my French heart to disappoint him.

Leo Elso

... and a Sketch From the Designer

When first tasked with the design brief I had to think about a world within a historic fort told by 5 actors playing 38 characters… How are we going to do this?.. Luckily the beautiful Fort Lovrjenac provides a backdrop of a blank canvas which inspired the use of colour and pattern to contrast from the pristine ancient white. And so was a born a circus troupe telling our Victorian fable but slightly off centre, through the lens of a child’s kaleidoscope.
Roberto Surace

  • Passepartout: Leo Elso
  • Miss Aouda: Juliana Barros
  • Samanta Graham / Batuclar: Rhianna Goodwin
  • Mr Fix: Julian Harries
  • Mr Fogg: Filip Krenus

All other parts – and there are plenty of them! – performed by the members of the cast.

LEO ELSO (Passepartout)

Leo is a West End performer, composer and musician trained at The MTA London.

Selected credits include: ABBA Voyage (Motion capture), Pistol (Disney +), The Grinning Man (Trafalgar Theatre), Peter Pan (Chester Storyhouse), Cinderella (Leeds City varieties), C-O-N-T-A-C-T (worldwide),  Alice in Wonderland (Covent Garden) Alice Through the Looking Glass (Covent Garden), Cat in (Re)boots (Livestream), Project: Cyrano (Vienna’s English Theatre),The Misanthrope (Camden people’s theatre), The Doctor In Spite of Himself (Drayton Arms Theatre), The Flies (The Bunker Theatre), DUSTY (Charing Cross Theatre), West End Eurovision (Adelphi Theatre), West End Heroes (Dominion Theatre) and last year’s Midsummer Festival production of Romeo & Juliet.

He most recently worked in collaboration with Sercret Cinema and Marvel in Guardians of the Galaxy.

He’s the host of the WEF International Cabaret and has an extensive rock music career.

 You can follow Leo on Twitter: @LeoElso Instagram: @imleoelso and YouTube.com/LeoElso



Portuguese-born Juliana Barros is an actress based in London, UK. She has over a decade of professional experience in both theatre and film.

Her latest work includes immersive theatre shows Money Heist and Tomb Raider, as well as feature films Hunter in the Blue Side of Manchester (Netflix) and Frenemies (Amazon Prime).


Julian’s TV/film credits include: Father Brown (S11), Mary & George, The Undeclared War, Eastenders, Detectorists, Spies of Warsaw, Doctors Night & Day, Broadside, The Kid, Before You Go, Strife, Bomber Harris. 

Theatre includes: RSC (Albany in King Lear, The Seagull), National Theatre (Pericles) and West End, including Mr Rochester in Shared Experience’s Jane Eyre & Bel Ami in The Sensualist (Maupassant/Harry Meacher). UK tour of Dick Turpin’s Last Ride, The Silver Sword, UK & International tour of Dirty Dancing. Julian has also performed in numerous UK rep and touring productions, including New Wolsey Theatre, Queen’s Hornchurch, Bury Theatre Royal, York Theatre Royal, Northampton Royal (Lord Darlington in Lady Windermere’s Fan, directed by Sean Aita).

With his wife, Pat Whymark, he is Co-Artistic Director of Suffolk-based Common Ground Theatre Company (commongroundtc.co.uk), producing and touring new music theatre productions.

RHIANNA GOODWIN (Samantha Graham / Batuclar)

Rhianna is a triple threat Musical Theatre performer and Actor-musician.  Born and raised in North Wales, Rhianna moved to London at sixteen years old, to complete her professional training in Musical Theatre at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts. During her training, she played the role of Sandra Beaumont in Italia Conti’s production of Made in Dagenham. Rhianna also trained with the Oily Cart Theatre company, working on creating and performing theatre for young and disabled audiences.

A selection of Rhianna’s professional credits include: GODSPELL 25th Anniversary Concert, Y Mabinogi (stage), Everlasting Lily (workshop) and Fight or Flight (short film).

Rhianna in a multi-instrumentalist playing: Flute, Accordion, Piano, Saxophone, and Ukulele. In addition to her musicianship, Rhianna is a dancer who specialises in tap and Jazz and represented Wales as a soloist in the Dance World Cup in 2018. Rhianna has a passion for creating work for theatre that is accessible and enjoyable for all.


Filip Krenus is an actor and theatre maker. He trained at East 15 and Drama Centre. Filip formed Honey-tongued Theatre Productions in 2012 and he is a co-founder and Creative Director of Midsummer Scene.

He co-produced Conundrum for European Capital of Culture Rijeka 2020 and he also performed when the production was staged at the Young Vic.

His one-man show A Poor Player, co-written with Sean Aita had a European tour and has been translated into Hungarian and Romanian.

He has also produced for Vault Festival, London.

Other theatre credits include: Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s DreamHamlet (Midsummer Scene) and Twelfth Night (Midsummer Scene and Vienna’s English Theatre), Uncle Maroye (Gdansk Shakespeare Festival), School for Scandal (directed by Jessica Swale), The Winter’s Tale (LittleBIG Shakespeare), King Lear and Dido, Queen of Carthage (Greenwich Theatre), Bent (Landor/tabard), Orestes – Re-Examined (Southwark Playhouse), and Peer Gynt (Riverside Studios).

On TV, he recently appeared on I Hate Suzie (Bad Wolf / Sky Studios).

  • Executive Producers (Brilliant Events): Darija Mikulandra Žanetić & Jelena Maržić
  • Creative Director/Producer (Honey-tongued Theatre Productions): Filip Krenus
  • Adapted and Directed by: Sean Aita
  • Music: Leo Elso
  • Set and Costume Design: Roberto Surace
  • Lightning Design: Aleksandar Mondecar
  • Video Design: Nikola Kapidžić
  • Stage Manager: Virginia Bolfek
  • Assistant Stage Manager: Tena Filičić
  • Hair and Make Up: Ivana Pleša
  • Light System: Maroje Kurajica, Antonio Ljubojević
  • Sound System: Milan Tomašić, Fifi sound
  • Technical Manager: Darko Ivanković, Studio DI
  • Dressing Room Assistant: Nina Raguž
  • Web and Graphic Design: Davor Pukljak, Frontispis
SEAN AITA (Director)

Sean Aita is an award-winning English playwright and director. His plays have been toured extensively both in Britain and overseas. Sean was awarded the CheckOut Theatre Award for his original play for young audiences Yallery Brown, co-produced with Forkbeard Fantasy at the Greenwich Theatre London which was described in The Guardian newspaper as ‘so inventive it seems destined to be a classic’.

He also won the IVCA Clarion Award, Europe’s most prestigious CSR and Humanitarian Communications Award for his play Bin It which toured in the UK for over ten years. He has had his writing produced professionally by the Royal Theatre Northampton (The Wrong Trousers, and a new translation of Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac); and Forest Forge Theatre Company (To the Marrow, Raising the Roof, The Smith Family Panto).

He has had a very successful partnership with Vienna’s English Theatre, authoring over a dozen original plays and stage adaptations of classical texts for their touring department, the most recent (The Show Must Go On and On the Brink) will tour Austria and Northern Italy in the Autumn. His stage adaptation of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is currently in the repertoire of the English Theatre, Frankfurt.

Sean has just completed the book and lyrics for a new full-length musical called The Maiden and the Child, which has been workshopped by students at the Musical Theatre Academy (MTA) in London.

He is a member of the Trinity College London Drama Panel and as a director has worked on professional theatre productions and immersive events across the UK, continental Europe and in Canada. He has also delivered lectures and performance-focused acting workshops in London, Mexico City, Vancouver, Dubrovnik and Los Angeles (at Cal Arts and the Los Angeles Film School).

Sean was the director of Romeo and Juliet which performed at the Midsummer Scene Festival in the Summer of 2019, which was revived in 2022. In the first post-pandemic season of Midsummer Scene Festival, he also directed the one-man show A Poor Player co-written with Filip Krenus.

LEO ELSO (Composer)

Leo started playing and composing music at a young age in his home city of Paris, quickly forming and performing in rock bands, including the award-winning punk outfit Chocolate Flavoured Tree.

After his move to London to study Musical Theatre at The MTA London, he started composing for various shows and films, in addition to his own acting career.

Credits Include: Dracula: Unclotted (European Tour), No Place Like Home (Short film), Commerce [pas très] Équitable (short film), Undercover Star (European tour), The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Drama Centre), The Misathrope (Camden People’s Theatre), Cendrillon (Camden People’s Theatre), and his award-winning score for Enough is Enough! (Short Film)

He has a longstanding relationship with writer and director Sean Aita. Together they’ve developed the musicals Virtual Heroes and The Little Prince, all for Vienna’s English Theatre. Around the World in Eighty Days is their latest and biggest project to date, and their upcoming full length rock musical, Rescue Me, is in development, as well as a new musical version of The Canterville Ghost.

Leo also composes for award-winning parisian playwright Samuel Valensi on his plays L’inversion de la courbe and Melone Blu.

His latest project is PULSE, a Zombie love story rock musical, in collaboration with writers Annie McCall and Marcia Vidal-Nolte and director Adam Lenson

Leo comes from a Rock music background and keeps writing and performing his own songs: he has released a live session available at YouTube.com/LeoElso and all streaming platforms. This one has yet to win any awards.




FILIP KRENUS (Creative Producer  – Honey-tongued Theatre Productions)

When Filip formed Honey-tongued Theatre Productions in 2012, he aimed to create a cultural bridge between the United Kingdom and South-Eastern Europe. He produced the first festival of Croatian contemporary drama in London Short Shrift , which was sponsored by the Croatian Ministry of Culture and the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in the United Kingdom. The event featured five top Croatian playwrights and brought to London some of the best young Croatian actors and directors. He has launched Honey-tongued READINGS – a series of rehearsed readings of both British and South-Eastern European plays and has set up Honeybear Youth Theatre, the children’s theatre branch of Honey-tongued Theatre Productions. Hedgehog’s Home was its first production. In 2015 Filip has set up LittleBIG Shakespeare workshop series for young audiences. In Croatia, Filip has collaborated with several theatre companies. He has translated the comedy The Complete Works of William Shakespeare – Abridged for Teatar EXIT, one of the most acclaimed Croatian theatres. The translation served as a basis for the Croatian version of the project for which he was also assistant director. He also translated the works of the following playwrights into Croatian: Steven Berkoff, Jim Cartwright, Philip Ridley, Briony Lavery, Clare Dowie and Langford Wilson. For Short Shrift, he translated into English the plays by Croatian playwrights Vlatka Vorkapić and Dino Pešut. He is currently working on producing the UK premiere of Gloria by Ranko Marinković, a Croatian classic play which he has also translated into English. He has translated into English the comedy Uncle Maroje by one of the greatest Croatian and European Renaissance playwrights Marin Držić. Filip also translates for audio-visual media (Croatian National Television).

ROBERTO SURACE (Set and Costume Design)

Roberto originates from Melbourne, Australia where he trained at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) gaining a BA in Dramatic Art (Production). He has also recently been nominated for the 2023 Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Costume Design of a Play for Peter Pan Goes Wrong on Broadway.

Broadway costume designs include: The Play That Goes Wrong (Lyceum & New World Stages), Peter Pan Goes Wrong (Barrymore).

West End costume designs include: Mind Mangler: Member of the Tragic Circle (Garrick), Magic Goes Wrong (Vaudeville & Apollo), Groan Ups! (Vaudeville), The Comedy About a Bank Robbery (Criterion), Peter Pan Goes Wrong (Apollo) and The Play That Goes Wrong (Duchess).

Off West End costume designs include: Lily Aitkinson at the St James (St James) and The Trial of Jane Fonda (The Park).

UK tour costume designs include: Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, The Play that Goes Wrong, Peter Pan Goes Wrong, The Comedy About a Bank Robbery, Groan Ups!, Magic Goes Wrong, Mind Mangler: Member of the Tragic Circle.

International: The Play That Goes Wrong (USA, Canada, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Australia, Portugal, Latvia, Spain, Hong Kong and New Zealand). Peter Pan Goes Wrong (Australia, New Zealand, Italy & Canada) The Comedy About a Bank Robbery (Russia), Groan Ups! (Hungary). Mind Mangler: Member of the Tragic Circle (Virgin Cruises), The Marvelous Elephant Man (Australia)

Television includes: A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong, Peter Pan Goes Wrong The Goes Wrong Show Series 1&2 all on BBC1.

Theatre includes: Costume Supervisor on Peter Pan (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) and Top Hat (2014/2015 UK tour and Japan).

Roberto dedicates his work to his late Mother, Silvana.

Insta: @robrob77 www.robertosuracedesign.com


Aleksandar spent forty years as lighting designer, and he is a household name in Croatian theatre. He worked on more than 800 shows to date. Abroad, he worked at International Theatre Festivals in Jerusalem, Gent and Berlin, Street Festival Graz, Vienna’s English Theatre and many more. Aleksandar taught at Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts in 1996. He was praised for his work and won the prestigious Varaždin Baroque Evenings Award, and Special Awards at NAJ Festival and the ASSITEJ (International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People). He was also commended by the Minister of Culture of Croatia. Aleksandar wrote the first book about lighting design in Croatia, Introduction to Theatrical Lightning in 2001. He is a Member of Croatian Freelance Artists’ Association.

NIKOLA KAPIDŽIĆ (Video Designer)

Nikola has a broad experience in video and live production ranging from theatre to music videos, documentaries and advertising. As the director of VIZIR, Nikola is dedicated to creating video content and live productions of the highest quality. He collaborated with Marin Držić Theatre, Dubrovnik Summer Festival, Šipan Film Summer School, Infobip Shift Conference, and Lazareti Art Workshop on national and international projects. Nikola also worked with artists Iris Lobaš Kukavičić, Slaven Tolj, Pero Mrnarević and Ana Pozar Piplica, as well as with directors Ozren Prohić, Krešimir Dolenčić, Ivica Kunčević, and Janusz Kica, to name a few. He has been with Midsummer Scene from its beginning, lending it his strong vision and rich experience.

Midsummer Scene is a project of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and the City of Dubrovnik,
and it is a joint production with Brilliant Events, Dubrovnik and Honey-tongued Theatre productions Ltd., London.

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