Reading all seven Harry Potter books could take months and watching all eight Harry Potter movies is a long journey. Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner have a solution. They’ve condensed JK Rowling’s worldwide classics into just 70 minutes of stage performance, but there’s a twist.
Potted Potter: The Unauthorised Harry Experience is a parody first and foremost so don’t expect any straight recreations from the movies, every scene flies by so fast that if you’re not familiar with Harry Potter lore you won’t get every reference. That’s not to say casual fans and Potter novices won’t be entertained, there are plenty of other pop culture and current affairs mentions for everybody to enjoy, not to mention the extensive collection of ludicrous props and costumes.
Luckily for the creators the Harry Potter phenomenon has barely slowed down since the inception of the show 12 years ago, there is still a Harry Potter play in the West End and Warner Bros are still releasing Potter universe movies, Potted Potter fills a slot you might not have even known you’d wanted. The show appeals to the whole family “from young to Dumbledore” and luckily for the parents of Potter obsessed kids there are hidden adult jokes flitting in and out of scenes as elusive as a golden snitch.
Starring in this New Zealand tailored rendition are actors Joe Maudsley and James Percy, both of which certainly have the looks, accents and talents to fully portray the spirit of Harry Potter and somehow manage to incorporate 20 other characters as well. Though these characters aren’t exactly true to the books they have been hilariously contrived, tweaked and simplified enough for this not to matter at all.
Would-be audience members will be delighted to know that Potted Potter brings with it an aspect of pantomime from over the seas and nonchalantly incorporates it into the show and onto the unsuspecting New Zealand audience. With participation pretty much inevitable in the stalls you might want to remember your Nimbus 2000s, Firebolts and sense of humour to join in with the most haphazard game of Quidditch you’ll ever witness.
Muggles, squibs, witches and wizards are all welcome and encouraged to attend the magical, mystical show that is: Potted Potter.
Potted Potter: The Unauthorised Harry Experience will be showing at ASB Waterfront Theatre from 17 – 21 April.
Reviewed by Lindsey Catherine