Catherine Maguire is blasted into orbit with Dramsoc’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
It was highly probable that the adaption of a much-loved book/film/TV series as futuristic as the Hitchhiker’s Guide – requiring the ability to depict amongst other things the infinity outer space and the explosion of Earth – was going to cause a few technical problems for Dramsoc’s stage crew. With some minor computer projections and the flickering of the house lights, however, that problem was overcome with little effort.
Douglas Adams allegedly wrote the novel while drunk in an Austrian field. If that’s the truth, the end result is a definite argument on why we should all be allowed to go drinking in fields. Dramsoc showed great creativity in conjuring a celestial world, as well as reproducing authentic-sounding spaceship noises and other bizarre sounds by forming an ad hoc acappella group, and using some interesting face painting to add recognisability to the characters. Costumes were straightforward and unfussy, while the props were basic and interchangeable.
One thing that added to the performance was, as the director put it, the fact that “the characters are at the same time hysterically outlandish and deeply relatable.” The audience was thus able to see the characters’ personalities played out before them.
There was a real sense of camaraderie and fun amongst the cast as they bounced their lines off one another, which only added to the crowd’s enjoyment. Humourous highlights included a pink bra being thrown on stage, and the opening of the play with its dramatic “Bollocks!” line. Sam McGovern played likeable protagonist Arthur Dent hilariously, but the standout performance came from Finbarr Doyle, who played alien hitchhiker Ford Prefect uproariously. It would be unforgiveable, however, not to also honour the commendable performances of Jackie Murphy as Trillian, Katie-Ann Mc Donough as Marvin the Paranoid Android, Conor Kelly as the Guide, and the collective acting duo that was Sharon Moran and Rob O’Donoghue as Zaphod Beeblebox.
Plays like this have the potential to go either really well or really badly. Thankfully Dramsoc’s attempt was a roaring success, and earned a definite thumbs up in the otwo books.