The Hitchhikers Guide To Fazakerley, Theatre Review. Royal Court, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

Cast: Lynne Francis, Lindzi Germain, Jack Rigby, Angela Simms, Michael Starke, Charlotte Dalton, Stephanie Miles, Emily Trebicki.

Every science fiction story needs a hero, a man willing to put his life on the line in order to save the world and by doing so redeem his soul, a man who handles himself with courage, moral fortitude, bravery in the face of oppression…and a Tardis inspired wheelie Bin.  It’s the festive season but not as we know it.

For the fifth consecutive year Fred Lawless has managed to bring every outrageous joke and groan worthy but secretly enjoyable pun to a production at the Royal Court Theatre and as with the preceding years, The Hitchhikers Guide To Fazakerley is a treat that will have you smiling broadly long after the Christmas cards have found their way to becoming gift tags for the following year.

Whether it is lovingly ripping apart the Horror genre in Nightmare on Lime Street or the odd take on the American Wild West in Little Scouse on the Prairie, Fred Lawless delivers the precise remedy for the winter blues and The Hitchhikers Guide To Fazakerley is no exception to the rule.

Returning for a second Christmas is also the incomparable Michael Starke and the delightful Lynne Francis as the husband and wife, Marty and Sandra, who have recently lost their dad but gained a Ford Anglia with the ability to travel to Venus and a small android with slight language problems. By having this superb pair in the cast takes the humour that Liverpool audiences adore and relish in to a level that is paramount at the time of year and in Michael Starke, who has thrilled Royal Court audiences all year in productions such as Bouncers and Sons of the Desert, shows just how versatile he is as one of the skilled actors, not just of Liverpool but in the U.K.

It would be impossible to write about The Hitchhikers Guide To Fazakerley without mentioning the rest of the cast which made the production so immensely enjoyable, whether from the tremendous band, the dancers/singers, spacegirls Charlotte Dalton, Stephanie Miles, Emily Trebicki, the fabulous Lindzi Germain and Jack Rigby or the first-class Angela Simms, making another welcome return to the theatre after the superb show Ladies Day. The show wouldn’t be the same without this great and comical cast.

The Hitchhikers Guide To Fazakerley is a Christmas delicacy served up by all at the Royal Court Theatre, destined to go where no production can hope to go, to infinity and beyond. Phasers are set to fun.

Ian D. Hall