Hitchiker’s Guide gets an Aylesbury entry

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Fans of Douglas Adams can hear The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy as it was intended this week.

Members of the original radio cast will perform the script live at the Waterside Theatre, whilst also doing the sound effects on-stage in front of the audience.

The cast will be joined by Never Mind The Buzzcocks star Phill Jupitus, who will play the narrator.

The ‘radio’ aspect of the show is not just a gimmick, each performance will be recorded and available for download afterwards.

Susan Sheridan, who plays Arthur Dent’s love interest Trillian, said: “This is a brand new idea to put The Hitchiker’s Guide To The Galaxy live on the stage.

“It has been done before a long time ago, but they acted it out as a play not a radio show.”

The latest production features a band, which plays music by Pink Floyd and The Eagles and a giant backdrop providing what Susan describes as ‘space age visuals’.

There is also an on-screen tribute to Douglas Adams.

Susan, who was the voice of children’s TV favourite Noddy, said: “You are seeing, live, somebody doing the effects – you know using an umbrella to make the noise of wings – and that in itself is extremely unusual to watch.

“It is unique in that this has never been done before.”

The spoof sci-fi tale was first broadcast in 1978 and has since spawned five bestselling novels, a TV series, computer game and Hollywood movie.

Susan, who has already worked with Phill Jupitus during the tour, says the TV comedian is ‘very, very funny, particularly when he does the Dish Of The Day’ segment.

Jupitus will play the narrator or ‘the voice of the book’ by reading entries into the Hitchhiker’s Guide in a friendly if slightly quizzical way – in the same manner as the original radio series.

On stage there will also be a robot replica of Marvin the Paranoid Android, which the audience can see being controlled by a stage hand whilst listening to the voice of Stephen Moore.

Meanwhile Susan, who also played the voice of Jade Fox in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, is no stranger to Aylesbury.

“I have friends in Watermead,” she explains.

Joking: “I think it is a super town, but there are too many roundabouts.”

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Radio Show Live comes to Aylesbury Waterside Theatre on Monday, July 9 and Tuesday 10.

Both shows start at 7.30pm and tickets cost between £18-£28.50

For more details visit www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury

or www.hitchhikerslive.com

REVIEW by Bucks Herald reporter Andrew Kay from opening night in Aylesbury.

First things first, I’m not a huge Douglas Adams fan and I have read the first book (many years ago) so I wasn’t expecting to be converted by The Radio Show Live. But, much to my surprise, I was.

I left the Waterside deciding I was going to listen to more of the shows and give the sci-fi spoof another chance.

The show opens with a clip of an old interview with the legendary writer, who explains that the listener’s imagination is not limited with radio in the same manner that it is on TV. And he was right.

Although the show had lots of lighting changes and effects, I liked the way the story relied on the audience using their imagination to fully enjoy the experience.

Unusually for a stage show, the cast all had scripts in their hands – but this did not detract from the performance and I stopped noticing the scripts early on.

I was impressed with the show’s sound effects, live band, acting and visuals on the giant screen at the back of the stage.

I also laughed out loud as the replica Marvin The Paranoid Android was moved around by an actor – and it was great to see the Waterside Theatre packed out.

I was disappointed with guest narrator Phill Jupitus however.

It wasn’t his night. He fluffed quite a few lines after making a joke about drinking too much gin before going on stage.