Zoe Ambrozewska Staff Writer
The success of the Harry Potter franchise can be measured not only by the dedication of the fans, but also the quality it inspires. Potted Potter – The Unauthorised Harry Experience, A Parody By Dan And Jeff, in which the duo takes on the mammoth challenge of retelling the 7 Harry Potter books in 70 minutes, is a prime example of this. A show that has developed from five-minute street sketches to those waiting in line for the midnight release of the sixth book, this parody is the work of Daniel Clarkson and Jeff Turner, previous presenters of children’s TV here in Britain.
Dan and Jeff’s knowledge of the world of Harry Potter is clear in the comedy they have written (despite the odd joke about not having read the seventh book!), and it is spectacularly written – how many ways can you really show Harry defeating Voldemort and still make it funny? Ask Dan and Jeff – they definitely achieved this. As well as this, the material was brilliantly delivered, including impressions of various characters – as someone who lives in Rupert Grint’s hometown of Stevenage, I must say Dan’s Ron Weasley was spot on! The content, all in all, was appropriate for those of a younger age in the audience, but still warranted a roar of laughter from the parents (or, in my case, young adults) present. In addition to this, references to the Lord Of The Rings series, and one Mr Darren Criss (someone quite popular in the theatre world of Harry Potter) were also well received.
While the task of condensing the 7 Harry Potter books into 70 minutes may seem like a challenging one, putting on a real-life game of Quidditch takes this one step further. The popular wizard game was met with enthusiasm by everyone involved (except maybe Jeff – who was pushed face-first to the ground by a small child, who was the Gryffindor seeker) and definitely produced some of the stand-out moments of the show – others including the musical closing sequence revealing whether Harry or Voldemort ‘will survive’.
Personally, I think there is a very fine art to delivering obvious, laugh-out-loud humour (featuring water and super-soakers!) without being just plain stupid, and, it might be its basis in literature, but Potted Potter successfully does this.
Overall, the show was thoroughly enjoyed by all in the audience (and, from what I could tell, by Dan and Jeff themselves) and had me crying laughter at certain points! A definite must-see.
I was lucky enough to see Potted Potter during their limited time in London as part of a sell-out world tour, which, after this coming Sunday (14 April) moves on the USA and Canada. You can find out about booking tickets HERE.
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