Don’t Forget Your Towel – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Radio Show Live

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Hitchhickers-Guide-To-The-Galaxy-Radio-Show-Live-01Was your home planet recently destroyed to make way for a new hyperspace bypass? Have you found yourself stranded on an alien spaceship in your pyjamas? Are you wondering why in the name of the Great Green Arkleseizure it’s proving so improbably difficult just to get hold of a half-decent cup of tea? Well don’t panic! The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Radio Show – Live! is coming to a venue near you to show you where your towel is.

Back due to popular demand, the good ship Heart of Gold is touring the UK from now until the end of November, picking up an unlikely array of hitchhiking guest actors along the way. The ship made its fifth landing at the Royal Spa Centre in Leamington Spa, bringing with it Miriam Margolyes as the guest Voice of the Book (other Guide voices so far have been Neil Gaiman, Jon Culshaw and Anita Dobson). 482898_493734860662486_1419283592_n

The show began with a series of recordings of the late Douglas Adams, leading on to some excellent music from a band (including director Dirk Maggs and composer Philip Pope) who should probably be doing the theme tune to Doctor Who.

The story itself had been cut back a lot in order to be squeezed into a single two-and-a-half-hour-long episode, and so can’t have made an awful lot of sense to anyone previously unfamiliar with the Hitchhiker’s universe, but then, when did Adams’ excuse for a plot ever really make any sense to anyone anyway? Despite all the cuts, however, there were plenty of unexpected and hilarious additions, including several musical numbers and a recipe for a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.

Included in the cast were the faces and voices of several original Hitchhiker’s radio actors including Simon Jones (Arthur Dent), Geoff McGivern (Ford Prefect and Deep Thought), Susan Sheridan (Trillian) and Stephen Moore (Marvin and the Whale). These were joined by Samantha Béart as Random and the Nutri-Matic, Andrew Secombe as Colin and Hitchhickers-Guide-To-The-Galaxy-Radio-Show-Live-02Max Quordlepleen, Toby Longworth as a brilliant Slartibartfast and Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz, and Mitch Benn as an absolutely perfect Zaphod Beeblebrox. In fact, it was all so exciting that even Douglas Adams himself was roused to speak from beyond the grave as the voice of the endlessly dying Agrajag.

The set and props were magnificent – in particular a puppet version of Marvin composed of huge microphones and pieces of retro radio and recording equipment, and the design of Milliways, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. There were also some interesting sound effects provided by Ken Humphrey, who appeared onstage alongside the main cast.

As the ship moves on across the UK, future Guide voices will include Barry Cryer, Graeme Garden, Clive Anderson, Hugh Dennis, John Lloyd, Danny John-Jules, Colin Baker, Anthony Daniels, John Challis, Bill Paterson, Harriet Walter, Phil Jupitus and Shappi Khorsandi. At the end of the tour, the live recordings will be made available to listen to via the Hitchhiker’s Live website.

For full UK tour dates and to book tickets, click here. You can also listen to a trailer for the show here.

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