If you are heading to the Octagon over the festive season my advice would be to buckle up and enjoy the ride as the cast of this fast-paced adventure story take you across continents in a charming re-working of a classic tale.

It’s a real family treat boasting a proper story which clearly had every young member of the audience engrossed from the outset on the night I visited.

The Bolton News: Polly Lister as Lady Phileas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days
                                                                                                                   (Picture: Pamela Raith)

In a twist from Jules Verne’s original tale, it’s Lady Phileas Fogg who accepts the challenge to travel round the world in 80 days to win a £50,000 bet.

The addition of a strong female lead gives the production the opportunity to take a knowing swipe at gender stereotypes and tackle head-on some of the issues which faced women in the 1920s.

But before you think it’s all ‘right on’ and po-faced, forget that idea. It’s a madcap romp which a six-strong cast charge through with gusto.

The Bolton News: Kai Spellman, Polly Lister, Emma Fenney and Charolotte Linighan in Around the World in 80 Days (Picture: Pamela Raith)

Director Kash Arshad has said he wanted the production to be a real adventure tale with a sense of peril and you get all that - and so much more besides.

Written by Kate Ferguson and with music and lyrics by Susannah Pearse, the duo behind previous Octagon Christmas shows, you know you are in good hands.

The original songs fit in perfectly to the story unfolding in front of you and allow the cast to demonstrate some fantastic harmonies.

As Lady Phileas, Polly Lister is a ‘frightfully-spirited gal’ to use the terms of the day. But she’s also very much a three-dimensional character, still coping with the recent loss of her husband and also her son killed in the First World War.

She has enough of the stiff upper lip to get through every adversity - earthquakes, volcanoes and sabotage are just some of the challenges she faces. But she’s also quite vulnerable at times which makes us warm to her even more.

Her trusty manservant, Passepartout, is played with great comic timing by Kai Spellman. And like several characters he has hidden secrets. Without giving too much away, his involves Al Capone.

The Bolton News: Rob Jackson and cast of Around the World in 80 Days (Picture: Pamela Raith)

Octagon regular Robert Jackson is a suitably boorish newspaper owner Sir John Sullivan who makes the wager and is determined no woman will ever be able to achieve the trek.

To guarantee this he sends hapless reporter Amit Khatri, played by Darren Kuppan, to shadow Fogg and Passepartout and the hinder their progress.

Travelling around the world involves many forms of transport and this production’s ingenious ways of introducing rail travel, ocean liners, rickshaws, balloon flights and even a ride on an elephant are delightful. The creation of the elephant in front of your eyes is a thing of beauty in its own right.

For a production like this to work it requires a cast of tremendous energy and they give it their all.

Charlotte Linighan and Emma Fenney play a variety of roles ranging from a would-be Hollywood starlet to intrepid balloon pilot and comedy jailer and they are all great fun characters.

Although not overtly a Christmas show, there is so much to recommend Around the World in 80s Days for the family over the festive season.

The Bolton News: Cast of Around the World in 80 Days (Picture: Pamela Raith)

And yes, there is some audience participation. You would be very much a Scrooge if you could resist the invite to dance in your pyjamas along with the cast.

At a time when theatre can often get bogged down in being over-spectacular or too clever, it’s so nice to see a show which has a genuinely good story with characters that you engage with.

There are some lovely moments involving the absurdity of the English language and some knowing nods to our colonial past which hit home but don’t labour the point.

We want Lady Phileas and Passepartout to succeed and we get to have a wonderful time watching them on their endeavours.

The show runs until Saturday, January 6. Details from www.octagonbolton.co.uk.