The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy at the Royal and Derngate in Northampton.

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The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is big. Really big. You might think that planet Earth is big but that’s peanuts compared to The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

A story which tells of the last ape descended humanoid Arthur Dent is a tale of Earth of being destroyed, parallel universes, time travel, aliens and answering the meaning of life, this is an epic tale.

And yet for a tale so overwhelmingly massive, this latest incarnation of this popular science fiction piece is actually quite intimate. Helped by the production performed by a handful of actors reading the scripts as if they were performing at the recording of the original BBC radio series.

The well versed cast of Simon Jones, Geoffrey McGivern, Mark Wing-Davey and Susan Sheridan perform the funny and beautifully observed material written by the late Douglas Adams.

My biggest worry about the piece is that it was simply just going to be a set of actors standing reading the script, but the production bought this new version to life in a completely different way from the radio, book, television series or film ever did.

Excellent lighting beamed the audience seamlessly from one place to the other and Marvin the Paranoid Android, bought to life by a puppeteer and an excellent model, bought the house down. Something I am sure as the character would have made him really depressed.

When interviewing Simon Jones prior to the show, he hoped this version would help bring new people to appreciate Douglas Adams’ work. This show, complete with his witty and clever material, will doubtless attract more just curious to discover exactly why 42 is the meaning of life.

Review by Steve Mills.

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is performed at the Royal and Derngate in Northampton on Saturday. Tickets can be booked by calling the box office on 01604 624811 or by visiting www.royalandderngate.co.uk.

Visit www.hitchhikerslive.com for further details on the tour.