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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Radio Show Live!, The Mayflower, Southampton
LIKE the Vogon demolition ships that blast
the Earth out of existence to make way for
a hyperspace bypass at the start of The
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,
resistance is useless in the face of Douglas
Adams’ format-conquering sci-fi behemoth.
What started as a BBC radio show has
become a five-book ‘trilogy’, a TV series, a
film, stage plays, a computer game, and
even a towel. (Not as random as it might
seem – a towel, of course, being the most
massively useful thing an interstellar
hitchhiker can have.)
The comedy’s latest incarnation brings
Hitchhiker’s full circle, reuniting original
1978 radio cast members Simon Jones,
Susan Sheridan, Geoff McGivern and Mark
Wing-Davey, and introducing Hugh Dennis
as the Voice of the Book (a guest role that
changes with each venue in the UK tour).
For something billed as a radio show, this
was a surprisingly full theatrical production,
with some suitably spacey visuals to
accompany the Heart of Gold’s mind-bending
cosmic meanderings and a five-piece band to
blast out the Hitchhiker’s theme – a glorious
noise that surely would have gladdened the
heart of the rock-loving Adams.
Thirty-four years on, the dressing gownclad
Jones still endears as the peeved
Arthur Dent, who is saved from the
destruction of Earth by his extraterrestrial
friend Ford Prefect (McGivern), but
struggles to find the upside of a life of
In an increasingly absurd universe of
string theory and God particles, Adams’
trademark blend of silly science and
tongue-in-cheek philosophy seems more
reasonable than ever – which just goes to
show how ahead of his time he was.
It certainly kept this audience of apedescended
life forms happy for a couple of
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