“Hell isn’t dark. Hell isn’t fire and brimstones and pitchforks. Hell is A4-sized.”
We all know Douglas Adams, the acclaimed author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. But we don’t know his story (this opener has big 2012-era Tumblr vibes). We Apologise for the Inconvenience, written by Mark Griffiths, picks up our slack and extols the true two-handed tale of Adams’s (lack of) efforts to write a sequel to Hitchhiker’s and the (considerable) efforts he went to avoid meeting his deadline. His editor locked him in a hotel room with his typewriter until it was done, and Adams had nobody but an imaginary bathtub duck to discuss life, the universe, and everything.
Adam Gardiner’s Adams is a great leading man, holding the balance between being an insufferable, upper-class Oxbridge twit and an endearing, whimsical writer stuck in an existential rut. The same goes for Rob Stuart Hudson’s Duck, who is wonderfully brash and loud, made all the better with the American accent. The interplay between the two characters is extremely fun and kept me interested and engaged throughout, rendering the story thoroughly immersive, even with the limited set dressing.
The show opens and closes with animated visuals, lending the entire production a cinematic feel; I could easily see the story as a movie (a very, very low-budget movie set entirely in one room). It all feels superbly Adams-esque: the silly premise, the jumps between comedy and existentialism, the identifiably English wit inherent in the dialogue and animated texts.
If you’re a fan of Adams, or just fun, small-scale comedy, then Binge Fringe recommends We Apologise for the Inconvenience, on at PQA Venues @ Riddle’s Court until August 16th.