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May 2016
 

The Bellinghman
Date: 2012-07-18 11:00
Subject: Now hitched
Security: Public
Last night we went to see the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Radio Show Live at the Cambridge Corn Exchange, where they did two one-hour episodes gently harvested and distilled from the corpus that is HHGTTG.

And it was with original cast, where available. Which meant no Peter Jones as the book, since he's been gone these too many years, but the original Arthur, Ford, Trillian and Zaphod? Oh yes.

Staging was something between a radio play, with actors holding scripts in front of microphones, and a full stage play. Costumes were worn, and prosthetic bulges used on the Vogons. Marvin was a puppeteered creation, but done well withal. And at the back of the stage, a band who opened the proceedings with the intro tune (diverting momentarily through a Dr Who theme ...). HHGTTG was always a very audio production and this kept to the precedents.

The first episode comprised the story up to the explosion on Magrathea, so a pretty straight telling of the part everyone knows. It was somewhat helter-skelter, since it was condensing what was originally 3 hours down to 1, but the essence was there.

The second episode was a bit more confusing, since it was a concoction derived from the remaining 4 books. Random Dent appeared, and the Guide Mark II, and we also had the Milliways episode, but not necessarily in the order one might expect, and there was a nice lampshading at one point when Arthur conceded that several chapters of his life seemed to have gone missing.

Guest stars for the evening were John Lloyd as an excellent book, and Rory McGrath as the Meat of the Day offering his beer-basted liver (40 years of basting) and a Coq au Vin (one portion, small, only). Oh, and even the Higgs Boson got a mention. All in all, an enjoyable evening, with a packed out audience. The only downsides were that the upstairs bar was closed (why, Corn Exchange, why?), and the merchandise was priced laughably expensive.
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