Around the World with Nellie Bly

Thank you for coming to see our performance!
Below you will find some information about the show, the people who made it, and about Nellie Bly herself…

Nothing is impossible if one applies a certain amount of energy in the right direction.

Nellie Bly, Around the World in 72 Days

The show you have just watched is about Nellie Bly who was a real journalist who lived in New York in the 19th century. And she really did travel around the world in 72 days!

She also did lots of other amazing things like living in Mexico for 6 months to write about what life was like there, exposing a smuggling ring, catching a coachman who was attacking people in the park, and going undercover in a hospital to write about how the patients were being treated.

She wrote lots of articles and books about her experiences and was a pioneer who launched a new type of journalism called Investigative Journalism.


✦ Nellie’s real name was Elizabeth Jane Cochran

✦ She was born on the 5th of May 1864 in Pennsylvania, USA.

✦ She was only 25 when she made her journey around the world!

✦ There is an annual journalism award in America named after her and in 2021 a memorial statue was unveiled in her honour on Roosevelt Island, New York City.

✦ The book that inspired Nellie’s journey, Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne, was first published on 30th January 1873. That’s 150 years ago this year!


Nellie travelled around the whole world in 72 days, 6 hours, and 11 minutes. She travelled across 4 different continents and many more countries. You can see the places she went to marked on the map below.


It might seem made up, but Nellie really did adopt a monkey when she was in Singapore and she named him McGinty.

It’s also true that the sailors on Nellie’s journey across the Pacific Ocean did think McGinty was a curse and wanted to throw him overboard!

McGinty was a species of monkey called a long-tailed macaque. These types of monkeys are native to South East Asia, grow up to 9kg, and can live until they are 30 years old. They get their name from the fact their tails are longer than their bodies.

The People Who Made the Show

KATIE OVERSTALL – Writer / Performer

My name is Katie and I am from Southampton, but now I live in London.

I’m a writer and a performer.

My job on Around the World with Nellie Bly was to figure out the best way to tell you Nellie’s incredible story and write all the words. After I did that, it became my job to stand up and perform it for you!

My favourite part of the show is when Nellie meets McGinty for the first time, because working with Shaun’s beautiful puppet is so much fun.

NELL THOMAS – Director / Producer

My name is Nell and I am from South East London.

I am a theatre maker, which means I do all sorts of jobs within the world of theatre and no two days are ever the same!

My role on Around the World with Nellie Bly was to make sure everyone knew what their job was and what things needed to be done for us to put the show together. I also worked closely with Katie to figure out how to bring the script to life on stage.

My favourite part of the show is getting to see Katie do lots of funny voices and silly faces!


Hi, my name is Joanna and I am from Oxfordshire.

I am a writer and a dramaturge.

My job on Around the World with Nellie Bly was to help Katie and Nell get the play ready for you, the audience, and to make sure you could understand it and have fun watching it.

My favourite part of the play is when Nellie tries curry for the first time!


Hi, my name is Julian and I am a sound designer and composer.

I am originally from Australia, but now I live in London.

My job on Around the World with Nellie Bly was to write the music that helps to tell Nellie’s story on stage.

My favourite bit that I wrote for the show is the music when McGinty first appears and meets Nellie.


Hi, my name is Shaun and I am a puppet and costume maker.

I made the McGinty puppet for Around the World with Nellie Bly and am currently the puppet assistant for Frozen on the West End.

I live in Isleworth, West London with my dog Django and my tortoise Shelly.


Did our show inspire you to go on your own adventure?

Did you have a favourite part of the show?

Would you like to see Nellie again? Or maybe you know someone who should see the show?

We love to receive feedback, so if you have something you would like to say you can contact us in the following ways using the hashtag #AroundTheWorldWithNellieBly (you may need a grown up to help you with this):

Facebook: Shedlight Stories

Twitter: @weareshedlight

Instagram: @we.are.shedlight

Or you can email us at


Nellie Bly: Katie Overstall
Additional voices:
Joshua Ashley, Carl Blades, Andrew Gourlay, Amy Watkins

Writer: Katie Overstall
Director: Nell Thomas
Composer & Sound Design: Julian Starr
Original Sound Design: Joe Hewitt

Lighting Design: Busé Tobin
Costume: Hannah Hodge 
Puppet Maker: Shaun Lati
Dialect Coach: Holly Renaut
Dramaturge: Joanna Matthews
Illustrations: Alex Grey
Producer: Nell Thomas

With thanks to

BW Studios London, Emma Bentley, Neil Gordon, Andrew Gourlay, The Hewitt Family, Richard and Lesley Thomas, Isabella Van Braeckel, Jamie Mansbridge, Matthew Jameson, Adam Hemming, and all at The Space.

Around the World with Nellie Bly
is supported by The Space and BW Studios London