Thursday, 15 October 2009

So long and thanks for all the fish…

Courtesy of the Guardian
Sunday the 11th October Beth and I embarked on The Southbank Centre in London wearing dressing gowns and carrying towels. We attended Hitchcon 09 an event celebrating 30 years of the ever-popular sci-fi comedy, The Hitchiker’s Guide To The Galaxy and its creator the late, great Douglas Adams. Commemorative towels with “A hoopy frood always knows were his towel is” printed on were given to the first 150 fans that arrived in their dressing gowns we were then invited to join the largest-ever photocall of Hitchhiker’s fans outside the Centre. We looked over the Thames as the press photographed everyone in high spirits holding out their thumbs and waving their towels in the air. Having had a cup of tea we then entered the Centre where an exhibition of Hitchhiker’s memorabilia and props from the TV series were on display accompanied by the Bath which Douglas Adams claimed he would lie in when he was stuck for ideas. I had the pleasure of meeting the man responsible for the animated sequences in the TV series Mr Rob Lord who kindly signed a picture of a Babel Fish for me. We then took our seats for ‘The Douglas Adams Chat Show’ hosted by Clive Anderson who interviewed a panel of Hitchhiker’s experts and friends of Douglas Adams Simon Jones (Arthur Dent) Simon Brett (producer of the original radio series) Dirk Maggs and Ed Victor (Douglas Adams' agent) they shared fascinating stories about the great man, his work and his legacy. Simon Jones was then on hand meeting and greeting and signing autographs.

Eoin Colfer author of Artemis Fowl was commissioned to write a the sixth book in the Hitchhiker’s series which he had gladly accepted. He gave an exclusive reading from And Another Thing… at the event he later signed copies of the book offered to fans a day before the official release date. Then came the main event! The original radio cast of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy were reunited for a special one-off performance adaptation by Dirk Maggs! Joining Simon Jones were Geoffrey McGivern (Ford Prefect) Mark Wing-Davey (Zaphod Beeblebrox) Stephen Moore (Marvin) and Susan Sheridan (Trillian) accompanied by Andrew Sachs as the narrator and Harry Shearer as Slartibartfast with Dirk Maggs providing the sound effects! The cast re-created classic moments from the saga delivering fan favourite lines and singing ‘Marvin The Paranoid Android’ The show ended with the cast taking their bows acknowledging a photograph of Douglas Adams projected overhead to a standing ovation from the audience. A truly magical performance enjoyed by all.

© Arfon Jones 2009. All images are copyrighted throughout the world

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