Boldly going where few us understood anyway

Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe Tour
Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe Tour
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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe Radio Show Live! - Blackpool Grand Theatre

Some 34 years after first bewildering its followers as a radio series and in what would have been its creator’s 60th birthday year, Douglas Adams’ “trilogy in five parts” has now taken on a new form in a stage version of those initial broadcasts.

Over the years the Guide has seen varying degrees of success on television and the cinema screen but Adams always preferred his audience to use their imaginations in bringing his characters to life – and anyway it was a lot cheaper to destroy the earth using only the medium of radio.

So in much the same way as fellow radio success story Around The Horne was converted into a successful theatre tour, so The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy has now been given the same treatment complete with five-piece rock band, a bank of six microphones, a selection of actors from its various incarnations, various radio studio props plus poet and broadcaster Roger McGough as the distinctive Voice of the Book.

Condensing so much surreal literature and humour into one evening must have been a challenge for writer and adapter Dirk Maggs – especially as he also doubles on drums and helps out as Zaphod Beeblebrox’s second self.

Confused? Well there’s at least seven and a half million years of Deep Thought going on here and the answer is still the inexplicable 42 – even with the assistance of the puzzling workings of the Infinite Improbability Drive.

But Adams fans know not to panic and are already fairly familiar with “life, the universe, everything” and can always snack out at MiIliways: The Restaurant At the End of the Universe. From Arthur Dent in his dressing gown to Ford Prefect in his overcoat, the Vogons to Slartibartfast, all the Hitchhiking favourites are here – but as ever it’s Marvin the Paranoid Android and his voice of doom (re-created by Stephen Moore) which gets the biggest reaction.