A Play About Douglas Adams! "We Apologise for the Inconvenience", by Mark Griffiths. On in Liverpool 21 & 22 November, then Manchester 25 November.
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Mark says: At the age of 10, watching the television version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy hit me like a ton of lemon-wrapped gold bricks. Here was a show that was funny, surprisingly dark (people often forget that nowadays) and scientifically literate. Douglas Adams's voice – that combination of Wodehousian chattiness and scientific language – was hugely appealing and made a tremendous impact on me. It was one of the things that made me want to write.
They say a writer is someone who finds writing harder than most people. Douglas Adams found writing harder than most writers. It shows in the end product, in the startling originality and wit of his writing. He made it look so easy. But often for him, writing was sheer hell.
I came across the incident my play is based on in Nick Webb’s biography of Adams Wish You Were Here. Webb even suggests that it might make a two-hander play. So I made it into one. It is a course an act of the greatest artistic hubris to put words into the mouth of such a fine writer. Fortunately, my ego was up for the job. And the thought of someone else doing it, and doing it badly, made me ill.
So what's it about?
It’s 1984 and Douglas Adams’s editor has locked him in a hotel room in a desperate attempt to get the reluctant author to finish the 4th book in his popular Hitchhiker’s Guide trilogy. Notoriously bad with deadlines, Adams is far too busy distracting himself with Life, the Universe and Anything Else Apart From Writing to care, including reflections on his failed Hollywood career, PG Wodehouse, evolution, his relationship with the Pythons and the fine art of tea-making. Oh, and there's a talking duck in it.
Mark Griffiths's play about Douglas Adams, WE APOLOGISE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE is on at 81 Renshaw St, Liverpool on 21 & 22 Nov, and at 3MT, Manchester on 25 Nov. Buy tickets here: https://www.fatsoma.com/room-5064-productions
1. Rehearsals with Rachel Howard (as the Duck) and Pete Gibson (Douglas Adams). 2. Mark Griffiths.