Note: This review is from the 2015 Fringe

@ Underbelly Cowgate, Edinburgh until Sun 30 Aug @ 16:40 (not 18)

Ben Norris is the exact opposite of his father. Ben is a chatty, touchy-feely sort of person, who loves art and words. His father on the other hand is not a conversationalist. He is sharp, succinct and loves football. Ben decides the best way to understand his father is to hitchhike from Nottingham to Wembley Stadium, stopping of at locations on the way that have significance to his dad. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Family is the story of this journey.

Ben makes us forget that we are in the musty caverns of the Underbelly Cowgate and takes us to the motorways and service stations of the South of England. He performs in front of a screen which projects motion graphics and animation that chart his journey. This screen also shows videos of Ben’s frustration at not being able to find a lift. The performer does a fantastic job of showcasing the stages of his trip and the audience is with him every step of the way. As he continues his journey we learn more about his relationship with his father and why this trip is so important to him. Ben wants to connect with his father and is looking to discover this connection within the places his father grew up.

Ben Norris has a background in spoken word and performance poetry. This is obvious as he takes to the stage with a natural confidence and delivers his story in a effortless and down to earth manner. He knows how to tell a story and build a narrative through words. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Family is a fun trip that everyone should go on. It is a touching story that is presented in a warm and engaging manner. It shows how important family is and how important it is to connect to the people you love most.

See also our interview with Ben Norris