We have a unique opportunity where for the first time since they first appeared together we have been able to reassemble most of the actors who appeared in the original radio series.
Douglas Adams - Writer
Douglas Adams was born in Cambridge in March 1952, educated at Brentwood School, Essex and St John's College, Cambridge where, in 1974 he gained a BA (and later an MA) in English literature.
He was creator of all the various manifestations of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which started life as a BBC Radio 4 series. After its first airing in March 1978 it was transformed into a series of best-selling novels, a TV series, a record album, a computer game and several stage adaptations.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's phenomenal success sent the book straight to Number One in the UK Bestseller List and in 1984 Douglas Adams became the youngest author to be awarded a Golden Pan. He won a further two (a rare feat), and was nominated - though not selected - for the first Best of Young British Novelists awards.
He followed this success with The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (1980); Life, The Universe and Everything (1982); So Long and Thanks for all the Fish (1984); and Mostly Harmless (1992). The first two books in the Hitchhiker series were adapted into a 6 part television series, which was an immediate success when first aired in 1982. Other publications include Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (1987) and Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul (1988). In 1984 Douglas teamed up with John Lloyd and wrote The Meaning of Liff and after a huge success The Deeper Meaning of Liff followed this in 1990). One of Douglas’s all-time personal favourites was written in 1990 when he teamed up with zoologist Mark Carwardine and wrote Last Chance to See – an account of a world-wide search for rare and endangered species of animals.
He sold over 15 million books in the UK, the US and Australia and was also a best seller in German, Swedish and many other languages.
Douglas was a founding director of h2g2, formerly The Digital Village, a digital media and Internet company with which he created the 1998 CD-ROM Starship Titanic, a Codie Award-winning (1999) and BAFTA-nominated (1998) adventure game.
Douglas died unexpectedly in May 2001 of a sudden heart attack. He was 49. He had been living in Santa Barbara, California with his wife and daughter, and at the time of his death he was working on the screenplay for a feature film version of Hitchhiker, which was eventually released in 2005.
Dirk Maggs - Director/Adaptor
DIRK MAGGS started winning international awards when he fused radio drama with modern cinema techniques, combining dynamic scripts, multi-layered effects and cutting edge technology. Dirk pioneered the use of Dolby Surround at the BBC and was one of the first ever nominees by the Directors Guild Of Great Britain for the Outstanding Achievement In Radio Award. The American Society For Science Fiction Audio honoured Dirk with a MARK TIME LIFE ACHIEVEMENT GRAND MASTER AWARD, and he has been elected an Honorary Fellow of The University Of Winchester for his 'outstanding contribution to the dramatic arts'.
Dirk's Television work includes voice directing the latest series of Bob The Builder and The Animated Mr Bean, in Film The Magic Roundabout Movie. His Voice Directing for Games has included Revolution Software's Broken Sword series.
However, for BBC Radio 1 in the early 90s, Dirk was creating epic 'audio movies' featuring Superman, Batman and Spider-Man. Having heard Dirk's layered production style, Douglas Adams approached the BBC to ask if Dirk would be willing to produce the concluding novels of THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY as three series, thus bringing the bestselling saga back 'home' to radio with its original cast.
Douglas and Dirk thrashed out a strategy to adapt the novels into dynamic and exciting new Hitchhiker's adventures, but it took twelve years and Douglas's tragic and untimely death before the project came to fruition with Dirk adapting, directing and producing.
The result was 'event radio' at its finest, with record listening figures on air. Online a staggering ten million hits were recorded on the BBC Radio 4 Hitchhiker pages. The BBC Audiobooks CDs became instant bestsellers and the public were re-awoken to the genius of Douglas and the magic of Radio. The three series won the 2006 US AUDIO PUBLISHERS AUDIOBOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD, the 2005 NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL FESTIVALS GRAND AWARD, the AUDIOFILE GOLDEN EARPHONES AWARD and the AUDIO PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION DRAMA, TV & FILM GOLD AWARD.
It was while working on these series that Dirk and Simon Jones first talked of putting a 'Radio' performance of material on stage. Douglas had told Dirk he always saw Hitchhiker's as his Rock Album. Combining that vision with the fun of a live radio show seemed a logical step, and at charity events to packed houses at the Royal Geographical Society in 2008 and the Royal Festival Hall in 2009, The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy Radio Show - Live was born.
In 2007 Dirk returned to the works of Douglas Adams and produced two series adapting and directing the two fiendishly complex novels featuring DIRK GENTLY'S HOLISTIC DETECTIVE AGENCY for BBC Radio 4, another bestseller in BBC Audiobooks.
“... adapted and directed by Dirk Maggs, who, in our opinion, is the best radio drama writer/director in the world. He’s even better than we are, that’s how amazing he is.”
TOM LOPEZ ZBS Broadcasting
“The quality of writing goes without saying but the production more than keeps up, and indeed enhances the work of its much beloved creator.”
SONY AWARDS Judges Panel 2005
“ ... a brilliantly written, lively script that matches the original 12 episodes. At the risk of being controversial, it's better than the book.”
GUY CLAPPERTON, Radio Times October 2004
“BBC Radio 4's serialisation of the last three books in Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series has proved more popular on the internet than The Archers or the Today programme ... an unprecedented online hit for the BBC with 1 million people listening via the internet ...”
JULIA DAY Media Guardian, 28 October 2004
“ ... During the height of Beatlemania you could buy Beatles chewing gum. As with their music, the impression was given that Beatles gum was a superior product. Dirk Maggs is the radio equivalent of Beatles gum. Others may be content with doing a competent job but Maggs goes farther. Nothing comes out of his studio, you feel, that has not been buffed and shone to the limit. Already the producer of the last three adaptations of Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy oeuvre ... and it was a joy. How can one resist?”
CHRIS CAMPLING, The Times, 27th September 2008
Ben M Rogers - Production Designer (Lighting, Video & Set)
Ben has been fortunate to have an international career spanning dance, opera, drama, musical theatre and live events.
He has designed musical productions around the world including an arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar and outdoor arena presentations of The Wizard of Oz, CATS, Oliver!, West Side Story, The Sound of Music, Evita, Chicago, Grease and Fame.
Other production design work includes: Children of Eden – Gala (Prince of Wales, West End), Noise Ensemble (UK and International tours), Make Me A Song (Charing Cross Theatre, London), OperaBabes - Renaissance (UK Tour), Hedwig & The Angry Inch (Heaven and Too2Much, London), Red Hot Baroque (UK, Moscow and Bermuda), Schwartz It All About and Songs for A New World (Edinburgh) and touring sets for The Girls Room, Anne Frank, Of Mice and Men, Heroes & Villains and Little Red Riding Hood (Phurious Productions, Scotland).
Ben’s lighting design credits include: Las Vegas Fantasy (on tour in Taiwan), Jack and the Beanstalk (His Majesty’s, Aberdeen), The Rat Pack (Liverpool Summer Pops), Fine Bone China (Clore Studio, Royal Opera House), Courtenay (Canterbury Marlowe) and Vision of Lear (Linbury, Royal Opera House).
In 2009 Ben was the production designer for the Opening Ceremony of the Small Nations Games 2009 in Cyprus. Prior to this he worked for Cirque du Soleil contributing the original video content and lighting programming for their show in Tokyo “ZED”.
His live music work includes concerts for Duran Duran, Jose Carreras, Alkistis Protopsalti, Mario Frangoulis, Stavros Mikalakakos, Valando Tryfonos as well as symphonic concerts and rock and roll festivals
Forthcoming design projects for 2012 include Douglas Adams Virtual 60th Birthday (Hammersmith Apollo), Tick, Tick Boom! (Bridewell Theatre) and a new international tour of Fiddler on the Roof.
Gareth Owen - Sound Designer
West End Musical Designs: A Little Night Music (Garrick) Forbidden Broadway (Menier) Carousel (Savoy) La cage Aux Folles (Playhouse) Shout! (Arts) Fiddler On The Roof (Savoy) Maria Friedman Re-Arranged (Trafalgar) Footloose (Novello and Playhouse) Little Shop of Horrors (Duke of York’s and Ambassadors) Dickens Unplugged (Comedy) Follies (Palladium) Fame (Shaftesbury and Aldwych) Satisfaction (Apollo) The Rocky Horror Show (Queens and Royal Court) Camelot (Regents Park) High Society (Shaftesbury Calamity Jane (Shaftesbury) Make Me a Song (Players) Side By Side By Sondheim (Strand) The Big Life (Apollo) Songs For A New World (Apollo) Tick Tick … Boom! (Menier) The Next Big Thing (Players) Snow White (Victoria Palace) Blues Brothers (Whitehall) The Last Five Years (Menier and Apollo) Glamorous Night (Novello) Dream On (Palladium) Romeo and Juliet (Playhouse) and Hedwig and Angry Inch (Heaven) Pippin (Menier).
UK Tour Designs include: Footloose, Little Shop Of Horrors, Carousel, The Wedding Singer, Shout! Fame, The Rocky Horror Show, Singing In The Rain, Annie Get Your Gun, Jesus Christ Superstar, Bloodbath The Musical, Children of Eden.
West End Play Designs UK include: Prick Up Your Ears (Comedy) Dealers Choice (Trafalgar) RSC Winter Season (Gielgud) Jeffery Bernard Is Unwell (Garrick) Hamlet (Savoy) The Taming Of The Shrew (Ambassadors) Breakfast With Johnny Wilkinson (Menier) Fully Committed (Arts).
International Music Sound Designs include: Evita (Bellagio Opera House Las Vegas) Excalibur (Las Vegas) Footloose (South Africa) Saturday Night fever (Korea) Jesus Christ Superstar (Denmark and USA) Return To The Forbidden Planet (Korea) Chicago (Montreux) Bluse Brothers (Austria) Evita (Beirut).
Perfectly Normal Productions - Producers
Perfectly Normal Productions has an outstanding team of executives and producers with backgrounds in radio and television. Our current projects include BBC radio dramas in production, and TV and movie projects in development. Our management team includes experience at senior levels in BBC television and radio.
Our very recent BBC radio dramas include Lesley Manville in “The Death of Tom Inglis”, Timothy West in “Beyond Borders” and Bill Hope in “Washington Nine Eleven”.
Previous productions include: Johnny Vegas and Ricky Tomlinson in comedy capers “Badfellas” and “A Question of Royalty”; Shirley Henderson, Paul Whitehouse, Johnny Vegas and Bill Bailey in “Mugsborough”; Philip Jackson in “The Johnny Cash Hi-Jack Roadshow”; “The Adventures of Sexton Blake” starring Simon Jones and June Whitfield.
Currently in production: A new play set in the world of movie making by Oscar winning screenwriter and author Frederick Raphael; “45 Minutes” a new play set in MI6 and Downing Street in the run up to invading Iraq.
In pre-production: Movie “Heathens” – the genesis of the world’s most popular football team, Manchester United.
The Entertainment Business - Producers
The Entertainment Business is London’s bespoke independent production company delivering production solutions to the entertainment industry worldwide.
Previous Productions as producers and associate producers: Gershwin Centennial Events in Europe, Who Could Ask for Anything More!, the Ira Gershwin celebration (Royal Albert Hall); ‘S Wonderful, the George Gershwin celebration (London Palladium);.Crazy For You (Prince Edward Theatre), She Loves Me (Savoy Theatre), Black Goes With Everything (Churchill Theatre), The Boys In The Band (Aldwych Theatre). Numerous concerts and corporate events. The company founded and ranThe Cardiff International Festival Of Musical Theatre, between 2001 and 2006, producing over 100 productions including Ragtime, European Premiere (St David’s Hall), Babes In Arms (New Theatre), Gypsy (Wales Millennium Centre)and managed The UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra for two seasons in Switzerland and on tour in America, Asia and Europe between 2006 and 2009.
2011: West End: Lend Me a Tenor the Musical (Gielgud Theatre); UK Tour: An Actor’s Life for Me with Chris Biggins and Nichola McAuliffe and Dearest Nancy, Darling Evelyn. with Fenella Fielding and Nigel Anthony.
Productions in 2012 include: Loserville The Musical by James Bourne and Elliot Davis (West Yorkshire Playhouse and West End), Friendly Fire by Steve Hawes starring Jean Reno (West End), The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, Live by Douglas Adams with the original radio cast (UK Tour), Ready Steady Cook Live with Lesley Waters (UK tour) It Happened In Nixon Falls by Tony McHale (UK Tour) and The Gold Room by Michael Feinstein and Warner Brown.
The Partners Joanne Benjamin and Clive Chenery
are The Business Of Entertainment.
The Radio Theatre Company - Producers
Founded in 2011 specifically to translate sound only projects into theatrical productions combining the intimacy of radio audience shows with the spectacle of live theatre, The Radio Theatre Company is proud to present The Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy Radio Show - Live!
The company has been launched as a joint venture between Perfectly Normal Productions Limited and The Entertainment Business Ltd. The prime movers include multi award-winning cross-platform writer/producer/director Dirk Maggs, whose visual radio production style as a Senior Producer in BBC Light Entertainment brought him to the attention of Douglas Adams, who then asked Dirk to complete the Hitchhiker's Saga in its original medium. David Morley's experience as a BBC Producer and Senior Executive at Unique Broadcasting (UBC) led on to his current post as Managing Director of PNP; David is also a writer both for broadcast and a published biographer.
For the Entertainment Business Joanne Benjamin and Clive Chenery bring a combined wealth of experience from productions around the world which have established The Entertainment Business as the leading force in Theatrical and Event production. These include West End shows, national and international touring, concerts, television and radio productions and corporate events
As well as this year's Hitchhiker's Tour, projects under development for The Radio Theatre Company include The Cardboard Replica Goon Show and Flywheel, Shyster & Flywheel - the lost Marx Brothers' Radio Shows.
Paul Tyrer & Jamie Clark - Bookers & Associate Producers
The Booking Office was established in 1996 by Managing Director Paul Tyrer and quickly established itself as the leading booking agency for touring productions in the UK, working alongside many leading Producers, Producing Theatres and Receiving Houses to bring their work to the widest possible audience.
The Booking Office enjoys a unique position within the industry as their relationships span the divide between theatres and producers, and their work and input alongside the industry’s leading practitioners has allowed continued expansion, into production, through the years.
Since its formation, Paul has worked with almost every leading producer and has been involved with hundreds of award-winning and commercially successful titles. These include Annie, Buddy, BBC TV’s Children’s Shows Live On Stage (The Tweenies, etc), Stones In His Pockets and Thoroughly Modern Millie to name but small a handful.
In 2008, Paul was joined by General Manager Jamie Clark, who had previously enjoyed five years as Head of Touring for Bill Kenwright Ltd, overseeing hundreds of productions including Blood Brothers, Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Sir Peter Hall’s Hayfever and many, many more. On leaving Bill Kenwright, he toured the multi Olivier Award nominated Little Shop Of Horrors for The Menier Chocolate Factory, their first UK regional tour, before teaming up with Paul.
In 2009, Paul was elected as a council member for the Theatrical Management Association, and both Paul and Jamie were invited to speak at the TMA conference on touring issues. In 2010, they were invited to lead a Master-class on musical theatre touring for the Mercury Musicals Development Charity alongside industry-leading figures. In 2010, The Booking Office moved into Producing, Partnering and General Management work in their own right to take advantage of the accumulative knowledge between Paul and Jamie. Don’t Stop Believin’ – A Tribute To Glee enjoyed a 15 week Number One tour in the Autumn, and they partnered with European Producers (and programmed!) a 32 week Number One tour for The Original Tribute To The Blues Brothers, back in the UK after a few years abroad.
In 2011, The Booking Office co-produced the inaugural UK tour of Rhinestone Mondays, a new comedy about a weekly Line Dancing club with a sound track to match! 2012 will see The Booking Office as UK partners for the International Hit Musical Musical- HAIR, starring Gareth Gates. In the Autumn of 2012 The Booking Office will be co-producing the UK national tour of Haunting Julia a ghost story by Alan Ayckbourn, at the same time they will be working with BBC Worldwide on the UK national tour of The Hairy Bikers.
The Booking Office are thrilled to be working on The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy- Live on Stage!!
Richard Haddon - Associate Producer
Richard Haddon's career as a director and producer began with a London fringe theatre production of the controversial play Bent by Martin Sherman at the New End Theatre, Hampstead, which Richard both directed and produced and also played the role of the Captain!
This production brought him national acclaim - the Guardian newspaper's Nicholas de Jongh writing 'in one sense this revival by Richard Haddon manages to make the relationship of the stricken couple more convincing than the original (West End) production'.
Richard then went on to direct and co-produce the two smash hit touring productions of the comedy play Bazaar & Rummage by Sue Townsend with Lesley Joseph and Jill Gascoine taking the leading roles. He also produced two tours of the comedy farce When Did You Last See Your Trousers? starring Linda Lusardi and in co-production with the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, produced the World premiere touring production of the new play Home Truths the company lead by the late Christopher Cazenove and Edward Hardwicke.
He was Associate Producer for the rock musical Godspell at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London, and further London fringe productions that Richard has either directed or produced include; Bring Me Sunshine......Bring Me Smiles, (New End), Belgrade Trilogy, (Tristan Bates), Bumpy Ride, (workshop of new musical - Greenwich Theatre & London Palladium) and Bazaar & Rummage, (Latchmere & Greenwich Studio Theatre).
As a performer Richard has appeared in numerous television programmes and several feature films - most recently the movie Provoked.
Richard has travelled extensively working back stage on productions including a tour of Sweden and Finland with the musical Grease and as Company and Stage Manager was responsible for taking Lee Hall's play Spoonface Steinberg starring Kathryn Hunter to the John F. Kennedy Arts Center in Washington DC for performances as a part of the Festival of British Theatre.
He has also worked on various West End musicals including Phantom Of The Opera (Her Majesty's), Oklahoma! (Lyceum), Grease (Cambridge) and most recently Les Miserables at the Queen's Theatre and on the 25th Anniversary production at the O2 Arena.
Richard has even worked as an Assistant Floor Manager on live broadcasts for C4 television!
Richard is delighted to be working with The Entertainment Business Ltd. on this project and with the entire team that is; The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy RADIO SHOW Live!