EDitorial ± 30-Sep-2013

In The Space Time Continuum

To the Ipswich Regent with a child. One of mine, reassuringly. Not, this time, for Playdays (March 2000), nor for Wheels On The Bus (Nov 2001) but in search of the answer to life, the universe, everything (previously). Welcome to the live touring version of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy.

We're off to a flying start as the on-stage band launch into what sounds very much like a version of Pink Floyd's One Of These Days, all bouncy guitar and synth stabs. It's good 'n' loud. Into a comfy looking chair climbs The Voice Of The Book, tonight played by the delightful Miriam Margolyes. Wow. I think The Boy's vaguely impressed too, since that large lady up on the stage is none other than Professor Sprout. Note that at other dates on the tour, the narrator will be played by Clive Anderson, Boycie, Graeme Garden, Colin Baker, Barry Cryer, etc. The list goes on and even includes Anita Dobson.

Centre stage appear two figures: Ford Prefect, played by Geoff McGivern, and Arthur Dent, played by the legendary and eternally dressing gowned Simon Jones. That's him, that's actually him, as seen in the telly version all those years ago. I shouldn't be this in awe. I'm also v. pleased to spot Philip Pope up there, in fine voice both on guitar and as a swishy spaceship door.

The show whips along with all of your favourite Adams lines drawing big laughs from the men of a certain age (moi?) who make up most of the audience. Undoubted star of the show, however, is good old Marvin, played very cleverly in robotic style with rotating units and flashing lights. Wisely, they've managed to get Stephen Moore to do the voice. He even gets a brief song towards the end.

It's all very silly -- just how long can they keep pouring that Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster? -- and great retro fun.