By Jessica Leafe
The first worldwide tour of Potted Potter, the stage comedy that condenses all seven Harry Potter books into seventy minutes, sold out to delighted audiences all over the globe 2012. This return season, currently showing in Melbourne’s Art Centre, is as entertaining and hilarious as anyone could hope for.
Created by Oliver Award-winning performers Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner, the show is both an irreverent parody and a fanatical ode to the Potter generation. It will reignite the frenzy of the diehard fans and equally entertain all muggles who never opened one book of the series.
The two performers engage their audience instantly, and their improvisation (or, at least, great façade of it) is completely on-the-ball and playful. Although the show is very family-friendly, everyone, both old and young, will be thoroughly captivated. There are pop culture references, touches of absurdity, and elements of puppetry, all delivered with an infectious energy and fresh humour.
While the show claims to squeeze the events of every Potter book into the performance, be prepared for some hilarious segues and diversions from the plot. These are the golden moments of the performance, and include an original magic stand-off between the Dark Lord, Voldemort and Harry, a fully-involved Quidditch match (audience participation 100%) and a disco-fever song.
The audience cannot help but sit, grinning openly at the stage, throughout the entirety of the show. With no intermission, the seventy minutes sprints by far too quickly, and will leave you convinced that you could see it again, and find it just as funny the second time. These performers adjust to their audience like chameleons; this is comedic theatre in one of its most entertaining forms.
Potted Potter is touring Australia until November 16th.
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