It’s been over thirty years since The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was first broadcast as a radio show, and for the majority of Hitchhiker fans it remains the most treasured medium through which the story of Arthur Dent has ever been told. Despite the passing of time, director Dirk Maggs has managed to bring together the original cast in a show that will delight fans both old and new.
Simon Jones steps into character once more as the hapless Arthur Dent, a man whose biggest concern was what to spend his day doing. Matters are taken out of his hands however when the Vorgons destroy Earth (a giant computer mistaken for a planet) to make way for a hyper spatial express route. So begins a crazy journey throughout the universe in which we’re introduced to Babel fish, Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters, appalling poetry, and mice who know far more than they let on. Luckily there’s a handy guide to steer us through these bizarre experiences, and what could be more comforting than the words “Don’t Panic” adorning the cover?
Jones is joined on stage by Ford Prefect (Geoff McGivern), Zaphod Beeblebrox (Mark Wing-Davey) and Trillian (Susan Sheridan). A group who share an obvious delight at being reunited. There’s also Liverpool’s much loved Roger McGough, who narrates the book and guides us through the story from the comfort of a leather chair. The stage design includes a pulsating light show, a live band, and best of all a screen which projects entries from the guide itself. Never underestimate the importance of a towel!
Of course it’s Marvin the Paranoid Android (Stephen Moore) who brings the biggest laughs as he plods miserably across the stage. No one does depression quite like Marvin, and he’s a firm favourite for a reason. This is a production for the fans. Fans who clutch towels as they take their seats, and cheer and applaud loudly as a final image of Douglas Adams is projected above the stage. For those who don’t appreciate the magic of this show, the phrase “Go stick your head in a pig” seems oddly appropriate.