The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Family

★★★★
theatre review (adelaide) | Read in About 1 minute
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Hitchhiker's Guide to the Family Edinburgh Fringe 2015 courtesy Paul McHale 2L
Published 25 Feb 2018

Almost awkwardly, the audience walk in on Ben Norris packing his backpack to begin his journey. His quest is a noble one, with the best intentions – to understand his father by hitchhiking through the many towns he has lived, in reverse chronological order.

Norris’ story is a relatable one ­– having grown up with a distant father who showed more emotion during a football (soccer) match than towards his own son. His storytelling is superb. The basic staging works strongly in his favour, with just a few lights, some clothes and hand-drawn signs to help paint the picture. Being an award winning slam poet, there are elements of the spoken word that land with a great deal of effectiveness.

By the time Norris concludes his tale, he has shared his personal motives, his insecurities, and his growing likeness to his father. The closeness he creates between himself and the audience is inspiring and incredibly effective. By opening up about his own communication issues, Norris sparks a conversation about relationships, family and what it means to be close to another human.