We Apologise For The Inconvenience

24 May

“I love deadlines. I love the wooshing sound they make when they pass by.” Douglas Adams, author of, amongst other books, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

The Fear. People who write will tell you about it reluctantly. It’s The Fear of creating something that nobody will like, The Fear of what you write being called mere plagiarism. The Fear is a blank sheet of paper; The Fear is every word being sautéed in doubt. The Cohen brothers made a film about it, called Barton Fink. Hunter S. Thompson compared writing to sex. For amateurs it is fun; for professionals it is hell and you don’t see many hookers smiling.

Douglas Adams relished missing deadlines for the delivery of his intergalactically acclaimed novels, as it provided him with so many anecdotes to regale his posh friends with. His publishers felt differently, despite the intergalactic thing, so they locked him in a hotel room with almost mob-like instructions; finish the *insert expletive* novel.

Which brings us to Mark Griffiths’ play, We Apologise For The Inconvenience. Set in said hotel room, this elegant two-hander goes through the pan-dimensional torture of Adams being told what to do. His tried and trusted reaction to this is to resort to what anyone who has traversed the universe would do: have a bath.

After four hours, he emerges and contemplates his anxiety with a towel and his plastic duck. The duck, who turns out to be a lot more vocal than your average plastic duck, tries to set Adams back on track.

Does it work? Well, Adams is played beautifully by Adam Gardiner and the duck is played by the irrepressible Rob Stuart-Hudson, who is a joy.

If this play is in your town, hitchhikers, then grab your towel and catch it. Don’t bring your duck. You won’t need it.

Dave Jones