Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum H2G2 original radio series cast tour

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  • #9499
    clem
    Participant

    http://www.chortle.co.uk/news/2011/04/26/13178/hitchhikers_guide_set_to_tour

    I’m not a fan of Maggs but I reckon this could be pretty special. This is from the press release:

    Perfectly Normal Productions in association with The Entertainment Business proudly announce a major UK touring event for 2012

    THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY RADIO SHOW – LIVE !

    Based on the Novels by DOUGLAS ADAMS

    Starring
    SIMON JONES as ARTHUR DENT
    GEOFFREY McGIVERN as FORD PREFECT
    STEPHEN MOORE as MARVIN
    SUSAN SHERIDAN as TRILLIAN
    and MARK WING-DAVEY as ZAPHOD BEEBLEBROX

    Adapted, Written and Directed by DIRK MAGGS

    Space is big. Really big.
    Vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big.
    You may think it’s a long way down the street to the chemist,
    but that’s just peanuts to space …

    Musical Director PHILIP POPE

    Arthur Dent is having a bad day. Both his house and his planet have been demolished. The girl he really – really – fancies is on the third arm of a two-headed alien. His best friend isn’t from Guildford after all, but a small planet near Betelgeuse. He can’t find a decent cup of tea because there’s no such thing any more. And he’s still wearing his dressing gown.

    Next year, UK theatre audiences will be able to experience the world’s favourite sci-fi comedy at first hand, by those who helped create it, from the Heart Of Gold to the Restaurant At the End Of The Universe, performed live on stage by Simon Jones and the original Hitchhiker’s cast, re-creating their iconic characters in a radio-style show filled with laughter, really wild sound effects and drinks with extremely silly names.

    Douglas Adams’s legendary comic sci-fi saga is packed with unique cultural and comedy ‘firsts’. It spawned six best-selling novels, five award-winning BBC Radio series, a Television series and a blockbuster movie. Translated worldwide, it was voted Number One Audiobook Ever and one of the Best Loved Books In Britain. Its unique, irreverent and hilarious views on everything from Tea-making to Towels have won it an ever-growing band of devoted readers, listeners and viewers. This self-contained adventure will introduce newcomers to Babel Fish, Marvin the Paranoid Android and the Ultimate Answer to Life, The Universe And Everything, while delighting Hitchhiker fans of all ages.

    Directed by Dirk Maggs – Douglas Adams’s choice to conclude the saga in its original medium – The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy Radio Show Live will explode on tour in the UK in 2012.

    Whatever else you do in 2012, make sure you know where your towel is …

    http://www.perfectlynormal.net
    http://www.hhgglive.com

    #112021
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    Wow.

    I’m not really a Dirk Maggs fan either… but I’d bloody love to go to this. A lot will depend on who they get to do the Book, though.

    #112024

    >I’m not really a Dirk Maggs fan either

    His Superman and Batman work is awesome though :(
    Integral to my eventual love for comic books…

    #112028
    Ian Symes
    Keymaster

    Why has Dirk Maggs written a new radio show based on Douglas Adams’s novels, rather than USING THE RADIO SHOW WRITTEN BY DOUGLAS ADAMS?

    #112029
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    Is that what’s happening?

    Oh.

    That’s significantly less exciting.

    #112030
    clem
    Participant

    The press release does say “Based on the Novels” but, as Ian says, why would they bother to do that?

    As for who should play The Book, maybe it’ll be Peter Jones in a sort of Richard Burton/War of the Worlds Live way, but without a big floating hologram head. Or maybe with a big floating hologram head, I dunno.

    #112031
    hummingbird
    Participant

    > Why has Dirk Maggs written a new radio show based on Douglas Adams’s novels,
    > rather than USING THE RADIO SHOW WRITTEN BY DOUGLAS ADAMS?

    WTF? I was just about to get ridiculously excited.

    #112035
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    I would imagine that the answer to Ian’s question is “To make himself feel important”.

    But this would all seem to be operating from the erroneous belief that the novels are the best/definitive version of the early part of the Hitchhiker’s saga, which is of course incorrect. The radio series one and two are BETTER than books one and two. There, I said it.

    #112036

    I’d say that the first two books aren’t as good as the first two radio series. I’m just being honest.

    #112037
    John Hoare
    Participant

    The radio series one and two are BETTER than books one and two. There, I said it.

    This.

    (And do I get into trouble for putting the TV series above the first book?)

    #112038
    clem
    Participant

    The wording in the press release might just mean that this new show will incorporate (some of) the post-Secondary phase radio stuff, which was adapted, by Maggs, from the novels by Adams. Which is still off-putting.

    #112039
    clem
    Participant

    > The radio series one and two are BETTER than books one and two. There, I said it.

    It’s ages since I listened to it but I think I’m right in saying series two contains shitloads of really bizarre stuff, some of which is very good, that doesn’t feature in any other versions of Hitchhiker’s. The Lintilla clones, the bird people, the Shoe Event Horizon history lesson, the robot disco, the body debit card, that bit where Ford and Arthur flag down an imaginary spaceship by waving their towels at it, and then it crash-lands and they get stuck under a massive rock, and they look up what to do if you find yourself in exactly that situation in the Guide. I do prefer the Disaster Area’s stunt ship material to the Hagunnennon stuff from series one, though.

    #112041
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    that bit where Ford and Arthur flag down an imaginary spaceship by waving their towels at it, and then it crash-lands and they get stuck under a massive rock, and they look up what to do if you find yourself in exactly that situation in the Guide.

    This = my favourite bit of the entirety of any version of Hitchhiker’s.

    It does get a bit odd in the second half of the series, though, yeah. All the stuff with the Lintilla clones and the bird people is probably avoidable, though I think the last episode – when they find the abandoned spaceport, followed by Zarniwoop, followed by the old man in the shack – is terrific.

    #112043
    si
    Participant

    The TV series is good, it just didn’t have the budget to make it great. The Vogon ship and other model effects look great, though. Even Zaphod’s head looked good at the time.

    If they’d done the TV style double head in the movie, that could’ve been fantastic. Having the second head hidden was a cop out. Mos Def was great as Ford, IMO, but that ending was unforgivably shit. I went to a preview of the movie and thought it was brilliant. Went to see it a couple of weeks later, and realised that it *really* wasn’t.

    Radio, though, is tops for me, every time. (The Radio Scriptbook didn’t half keep me company when I was hospital!)

    #112044
    Phil1034
    Participant

    >His Superman and Batman work is awesome though :(

    Yes it was. Bob Sessions is who I hear in my head when I read Batman. I used to able to recite the Knightfall “Let me tell you a few facts about Gotham City…” speech verbatim.
    Anyway h2g2 Live – I’m drinking the kool-aid, tired of being pessimistic & lowering expectations. Yay!

    #112047

    > Yes it was. Bob Sessions is who I hear in my head when I read Batman. I used to able to recite the Knightfall “Let me tell you a few facts about Gotham City…” speech verbatim.

    Same! Christian Bale ain’t got shit on Bob.

    BTW apologies for the complete pointlessness of my previous post. It was late and I hit post comment too soon somehow, while leaning down to stroke my dog (not a euphemism). I have completely forgotten how I was originally going to finish it.

    As for my actual opinion on the h2g2 Live thing… I probably won’t go and see it unless my friends who are Douglas Adams fanatics (of which there are many now I think about it…) invite me. Although Simon Jones being Arthur Dent again would be worth any amount of rehashing, in my opinion. He is The Definitive. No offence to Martin Freeman, who is a very fine actor himself who did a great job in the film. But Simon Jones is the Arthur Dent as I’ve always envisaged him.

    It would be nice, too, to see what the audience will be like. I mean, h2g2 has been an imaginative, witty and intelligent product in all versions of it, even if some of them didn’t quite work, or had boring/just not funny enough moments. I really think that there’s something in it that makes it worth seeing even if just to make you think about how ridiculous pretty much everything about us human beings is.

    Then again, excluding the ending, I really loved the Mostly Harmless. Might have something to do with the severe stress and depression I was going through at the time, but I found the sense of missed chances and being lost appealing. Oh, but Arthur’s daughter really annoyed me. The writing itself is the best out of all of them, in my opinion; it’s just that there isn’t that sense of wonderfully enthusiastic creativity that the rest of the books (well, except for SLATFATF) had. The long sequence describing the making of a sandwich was a funny idea and executed well. Erm, my point is that everyone else in the world seems to actually hate the book entirely, so it might just be that my judgement is off due to the state of my mind while I was reading it.

    As for Dirk Maggs, I’m not asking in an insulting way, but has he ever made a show that wasn’t an adaptation? If he hasn’t then maybe he just doesn’t have many creative ideas but just loves the radio medium so much that he uses that passion to bring other people’s ideas to life. Like when a Hollywood director is brought on after a film is cast, the script written, etc. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing, if done right. I guess if I’m not talking a load of rubbish then it’s just up to the individual to decide for his or herself what “done right” means.

    Sorry for the rambling, I always find it hard to be coherent while translating the rubbish in my head to words.

    #112048

    > It would be nice, too, to see what the audience will be like. I mean, h2g2 has been an imaginative, witty and intelligent product in all versions of it, even if some of them didn’t quite work, or had boring/just not funny enough moments. I really think that there’s something in it that makes it worth seeing even if just to make you think about how ridiculous pretty much everything about us human beings is.

    I forgot to say what I set out to, which is that I think the audience would be made up of intelligent, witty people who have good imaginations.

    <3 Just like the people on this website <3

    Okay, I’ll stop posting so rapidly now.

    #112099
    Rad
    Participant

    I’m still a fan of Dirk Maggs and will look out for new things from him. Batman: Knightfall is fantastic but I was less impressed with Dirk Gently, Sexton Blake and his bizarre decision to make such drastic changes to the portrayal of the Vogons in the last series.

    As for him making himself feel ‘important’, I don’t know. I think his decision to do the Tertiary Phase as if The Secondary Phase happened only in Zaphod’s head showed he was totally subservient to Adam’s work and was very reluctant to muck about with it in any way even if it would lead some difficult plot problems later on. Or maybe he just couldn’t figure out how to do it, it is tough. But anyway, I’ve always felt he’s been very respectful to DA. I’m sure he’s said somewhere that he read a review of The Tertiary Phase and someone said ‘Dirk Maggs is no Douglas Adams’ and his response was along the lines of ‘Duh’.

    Also, for a man who has chosen to spend his life in the medium of radio, I can’t blame him if he jumps at one of the rare occasions to do ‘event radio’. So I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt as to his motives for doing this.

    Saying that, I’ll wait for more info about the material they’ll be performing before I book my tickets.

    #113740
    clem
    Participant
    #113748
    si
    Participant

    *looks at tour dates*

    Christ, they don’t like Yorkshire, do they? A date in York, that’s it!

    #113749
    Kris Carter
    Participant

    Aye. Not a fan of almost-all of Wales either it would seem!

    #113762
    Jonsmad
    Participant

    Brilliant. Thanks for the news Clem. My local theatre says within the blurb.

    “Highlights from the entire Hitchhiker’s Saga.”

    So that would be why some is adapted from the novels, looks like the show will include
    a selection of scenes from all 5 radio series, which I personally loved all of massively.

    #116525
    Jonsmad
    Participant

    Off to see this tonight. So that must mean the world is about to end.
    So long and thanks for all the cunts.

    See you all after the dolphin rescue.

    #116522
    Alex
    Participant

    I’m seeing it in Bromley in a couple of weeks time, so I’ll be interested to know what you thought of it.

    #116523
    si
    Participant

    > I’m seeing it in Bromley in a couple of weeks time

    Get away from me with that stage!

    #116514
    Jonsmad
    Participant

    Far out in the uncharted backwaters, of Northampton, lies a small unregarded local theatre. Seated in this theatre in row A of the circle is Jonsmad, the one from this forum that has “Deep Thought” from the Hitch hikers guide movie as his avatar. A fan of the Many versions of HHGTTG, all of them contradicting each other, I’m expecting tonight’s to be yet another Version of the whole sort of general mish mash, and it is. Good. I suppose anyone taking their towel for a night out, should expect something close to the radio shows, in all it’s incarnations, from Primary to Quintessential, given the cast and director and the billing as advertised. Indeed again this is the case.

    Wonderfully so in the 1st half, like the joy of a happy sirius cybernetics door, that’s just had the pleasure of letting a load of old friends back into the room, to share and enjoy something we all love. The opening Act 1 manages to cram in a version of episodes 1 to 4 of the primary phase or the equivalent story (cleverly adding in the nutrimatics scene and company jingle from the secondary phase for some extra show fun), with much care and well thought trimming of lines, moving, staging and remounting it paces well, covering a lot of ground quickly and firmly like a vogon matching you out through the airlock. Gripping stuff.

    It’s funny, exciting, warm, recogniseable, and I loved it. With a live band on stage we get a long, floyd like intro, that even throws in a who riff, under some nice simple but effective moving space graphics. We begin straight into the action as the vogons destroy earth, (bulldozers and other such lines are only refered back to in dialouge inside the space ship setting, and it’s no major loss to jump right in here, given the time constraint for a live evening. This along with the early introduction of deep thought’s 42, works well I thought in the reordering, as it helps speeding up later parts of the adventure while keeping things more focussed on our main characters once they all appear on stage together.) I think story and concepts of that part of the series, come across very well indeed.

    The actors sound just like you remember them, and yes they look older, but I’m used enough to an aged Simon Jones and given most of the cast we never really saw in person as such often anyway it all feels just right to hear them and see them in a radio studio like setting, complete with sound fx desk and applause signs. We do get vogon masks and a few fun visual bits and bobs too though, and yes he’s got the dressing gown on, and a 2nd zaphod head on a stick plays in some scenes.

    The book is a rotating guest. They seems to be well chosen enough, alumini and fandom of Douglas or radio comedy era relevant. Indeed Rory Mcgrath tonights guest goes back to footlight days of comedy old too. While never going to be the best ever choice for the vacant Peter Jones spot, I understand the thinking, and I’m aware enough of his narration in Tales from the cyrpt before now to be looking forward to seeing him do this. Unfortunately he lets himself down somewhat. Lacking in rehearsal, the turn up and read in an arm chair spotlight approach to this additional cast member seems to be a little step behind the professionalism required to delive DNA’s words elequently enough to sell the difficult concepts he weaves at times, it takes understanding and pace. 70% of the time Rory gets it right. But I expect this part to be a FAN of douglas writing. The early fluff of Jatravarted. I forgive. He passes it off well with a look to the heavens and a “dam you douglas” that endeares him to us. But too many later fluffs, 6 or 7, disrupts too much, the last one (bistromatics, he never gets it. BistroMATHics is his best) gets a heckle of “easy for you to say”, and on occasion his voice is one of someone working out what he’s reading rather than conveying it to us as an expert guide. With such classic writing this is a little unforgiveable. He redeems himself in act 2 though when he plays “The Dish of the day”, his cornish joking, lining up on stage alongside the rest of the cast is a joy that makes me start a round of applause for the guest spot that the room follows easily in appreciation of.

    The graphics for the guide are a nice stylish spin on word jumbles and mobile iphone type icons. New spin and I liked them, as a few other visuals, like the later milliways logo.

    Arthur, Ford and Zaphod, and less so Trillian should really be our hero’s and all have their moments. But Douglas Adams himself upstages as the voice of Agrajag, while an umbrella performance is honestly brilliant alongside as this bat creature, in a welcome left turn into Life The universe and Everything at the start of part two.

    #116554
    Jonsmad
    Participant

    It’s Stephen Moore Voicing Marvin, and the full sized puppet standing on someone’s shoes approach, with a head like an old radio and a nightrider style light line for a mouth eluminating in time with the dialouge that steals the show, and the hearts and minds of the audience. His appearances, the character, the newly recorded performance, make possibly the best Marvin ever. He’s puppeted so well, with arm moves and head bows and he booms a little out of the speakers, he’s never been quite so adorably pathetic in all his brilliant previous incarnations. He even gets to sing 2 numbers from the obscure Marvin record history and references to his laments.

    Because tonight verges on Hitch hikers the musical. Which works ok, but may equally annoy some. Reg nullify, is phillip popes milliways caberet’ excuse to sing his krittit song from Terteriary phase. I love the guy from heebeegeebees era etc so I just enjoy the moment, rather than worrying too much about where this show is going into a variety showcase hitchhikers special.

    But there isnt quite any getting away from it, that although I loved what dirk maggs did with series 3 to 5 of the radio adaptations, and would defend most of them against his critics I know he has, the second half of this show, which pulls elements from Mostly Harmless, Life the universe and everything and the guide
    building offices scenes from the secondary phase, it all just unravels, trips over and stumbles around like a man trying to undue the bra of excentricagalumbits halfway through a tango with her, and getting confused over which breast he’s now fondling.

    I loved the atress playing Random dent. And toby longworth as slartibartfast I enjoy his performance, but in part two he becomes like an exposition guide, when surely the book is there for that role, when it’s naration disappears mostly in part two, because I geuss maggs isnt confident enough to write much new book exposition to bridge things, so we get too many dull lines from slarti and arthur, about babel fish teleporting, time stream missing sections of his life, etc. While some of this does indeed helm from Life the universe and everything (eddies in the time stream), or the later radio adaptions, too much of it is used to intercut scenes from the later storys in such a criss cross way I suspect nearly everyone would lose the plot, even if it does contain enough logical use of ideas, it doesnt entertain with them. The other trouble is too many of these scenes seed things that pay off too quick (in the case of the multidimension guide bird etc) or not at all (stravromula beta is set up and then we get “go read the books” etc for the rest of the story!)

    We get back to milliway briefly in an enjoyable way but then the whole thing ends with something I read just now in the script book for the radio adaptation of tertiary phase. Teleportation toilet. Yes maggs. You’ve flushed a really good thing down the bog. Is my reaction. So poor, I’m unable to clap along with the herd as the show ends, for a moment. Until I return to the big joy of seeing this cast come back for bows and the fact I am seeing anything like this at all.

    Also There is one guy in the cast, who’s extra roles are a bit camp. Which works fine for the host of milliways, but annoys me as the lower vogon, and seems to elevated the doors satisfaction noise into a sport of one up manship anal sex jokes. Which i did laugh at, but I’m not sure that was ever the point of them before.

    I feel like 60% is the joy of a robot reprogrammed by ford to just enjoy life. Loved it, love these guys. And 40% is like having my dreams smashed out on a gold brick, whist dirk reads poetry that sounds a bit like something that used to work better in it’s longer form.

    #116567
    Jonsmad
    Participant

    Fortuneatley the bonus for the day comes, in Meeting Rory, Mark Wing Davey, Geoff McGiven, Simon Jones, Susan Sheridan and Phillip Pope, at the stage door and getting my Script books signed. All of them charming and polite. Simon saying somewhat fittingly that he met his wife, in Northampton, then refering to her as “the meaning of life” which is just so sweet it wins the days.

    Seeing Rory sign someones “who dares wins” book, and getting to talk to Phillip Pope about the series Radio Active, just ends my day in comedy heaven, no headache! :-) I think to myself what a wonderful world.

    #116760
    Alex
    Participant

    Cheers, I’ve tried not to read that in any great detail so as not to spoil it, but I’ll have a proper read after I’ve seen the show.

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