POTTED POTTER: The Unauthorized HARRY EXPERIENCE
24/10/2012 - 28/10/2012
31/10/2012 - 04/11/2012
The West End and New York Smash Hit
2012 Olivier Award Nominee – Best Entertainment & Family Show
All Seven Harry Potter Books in Seventy Hilarious Minutes!
“Fabulously funny! Will tickle the funny bone of every age group.” – The London Daily Telegraph
“The single funniest thing I’ve seen in ages. You’re gonna love this show.” – Toronto Star
POTTED POTTER: The Unauthorized Harry Experience, an exuberant parody of the Harry Potter book series that has become an international sensation on both West End and Off-Broadway, opens in Auckland 24 Oct and Wellington 31 Oct 2012.
And just like the books and films about the much-celebrated boy wizard that have made gazillions worldwide, every Harry Potter enthusiast shouldn’t miss this acclaimed comedy act hailed by both fans and critics — including The London Times, The New York Times and the Toronto Star — as the ultimate family-friendly idiocy.
POTTED POTTER takes on the ultimate challenge of condensing all seven Harry Potter books (and a real life game of Quidditch) into 70 hilarious minutes. This fantastically funny show features all your favourite characters, a special appearance from a fire-breathing dragon, endless costumes, brilliant songs, ridiculous props and a generous helping of Hogwarts magic!
“Cleverly appeals to both ardent fans and parents.” – The Times, UK
Created by double Olivier Award Best Entertainment nominees Daniel Clarkson (who appeared on Coronation Street as the concierge at the hotel during Leanne’s hooker days) and Jefferson Turner, the show is a must-see for Potter addicts and a great introduction to the series for anyone who’s ever wondered what all the fuss is about. Even if you don’t know the difference between a Horcrux and a Hufflepuff, POTTED POTTER will make you roar with laughter. This brilliant family entertainment is perfect for ages six to Dumbledore (who is very old indeed).
“Gloriously irreverent. A very lovable romp through Rowling’s back catalogue.” – Time Out, London – Critic’s Choice
All three Potted shows (Potted Panto, POTTED POTTER and Potted Pirates) have earned widespread acclaim and a fan base that crosses generations. POTTED POTTER played five sold-out Fringe seasons in Edinburgh, five sold-out London runs and extensive UK and international tours. The show has received rave reviews from all the leading UK papers – The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, Sunday Express, Daily Mail, London Evening Standard and The Financial Times, as well as being a Time Out Critic’s Choice.
Potted Potter is more than just a comedy show. It’s a heartfelt homage to one of this century’s most important literary works, as it offers parents and children something to talk and laugh about, and a great time to bond.
Clarkson and Turner first created POTTED POTTER in 2005 for an appearance at a London bookshop, as a five-minute entertainment for fans awaiting the release of the sixth book in the series. The show grew from there into a full-length stage production, first seen at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2006, and has since toured internationally, including sell-out seasons at the Adelaide Fringe, Melbourne Comedy Festival and New Zealand Comedy Festival in 2009.
“An absolute gift of a show… Funny and gloriously unpredictable.” – The Stage, UK
“Blissfully funny, a winner in every way. This show is a crowd-pleaser.” – The Guardian, UK
BRUCE MASON CENTRE, TAKAPUNA
24 to 28 October, 2012
TICKETS from $60 to $80
BOOKINGS 09 970 9700 or ticketmaster.co.nz
Group Bookings 10+ SAVE!
Telephone Group Bookings 09 970 9334
31 October to 4 November, 2012
TICKETS from $55 to $80
BOOKINGS 0800 TICKETEK or ticketek.co.nz
Group Bookings 10+ SAVE!
Telephone Group Bookings 04 384 3842
“You could do no better than to see Potted Potter.” – Toronto Globe & Mail
FAMILY PACKAGES AVAILABLE IN BOTH VENUES
Performed by Jesse Briton & Gary Trainor
Set design by Simon Scullion
Lighting design by Tim Mascall
Music composed by Phil Innes
Associate direction by Hanna Berrigan
1hr 10 mins, no interval
A winning formula of parody and satire
Review by Simon Howard 01st Nov 2012
The Harry Potter series is gloriously sent up in this fast-paced production of Potted Potter, a family comedy show which has enjoyed huge success worldwide, including several stints on the West End and off-Broadway.
Before the show begins, the two British actors come on stage and out into the audience to talk to the first few rows, breaking down the ‘fourth wall’ and creating an interactive feel to the show as it gets underway. The set is made up of several huge props and an impressive array of lights, which come into their own at different points in the show.
Almost instantly, the two actors bounce off each other and draw laughter by revealing hidden parts of their set, such as a toy train to represent the Hogwarts Express, and a huge canvas of the Forbidden Forest (albeit a canvas of a tropical island with the words ‘Forbidden Forest’ written on).
Despite the vast number of characters and storylines which are at the actors disposal, to appeal to the audience they keep it brief and focus instead on the main plot points and characters, all of whom are sent up in hilarious fashion.
From the clowning around of Ron Weasley to the numerous encounters with Lord Voldemort, this is a show which intentionally parodies the work of J.K. Rowling, but always in an affectionate way. For example, Voldemort realises by the second book that a distinct pattern is emerging from his encounters with the boy wizard.
There is a great level of audience engagement throughout, but undoubtedly one of the high points of the show sees both sides of the audience participate in a game of Quidditch, with huge LED hoops at each side of the theatre, and two audience members chasing a human golden snitch. Yet at its heart, this is a show which works best when stripped back to its most basic level, when the two actors are in full flow, improvising and putting their spin on the much-loved characters of the Harry Potter series.
Having the two actors contrast each other works effectively, with Gary Trainor playing the uptight Harry Potter aficionado and Jesse Briton the foolish idiot who hasn’t really got a clue when it comes to most things Potter. Despite a few unconvincing turns (such as Gary forgetting the dramatic ending to the sixth book) they are a very accomplished double act, who are willing to go the extra mile in search of a laugh.
Large amounts of slapstick and physical humour are involved, with all manner of props being introduced and manipulated in the name of innocent fun. Seeing Jesse attempt to throw Gary off course when using multiple props and wigs, in particular Voldemort’s snake Nagini, is a notable highlight.
The two actors feed off the energy from the audience and are happy to take the production to unexpected places as and when required. But there is also a huge amount of discipline involved in covering all seven books, whilst keeping the show to just over seventy minutes in length.
Harry Potter has proven itself as a huge cultural phenomenon of the 21st century. For fans of all ages, this is a production which goes down a treat. Even those who perhaps weren’t avid fans beforehand will find plenty of laughs from the plethora of references to other popular franchises, such as Narnia, Twilight and Lord of the Rings.
Potted Potter provides fun and laughter throughout with a winning formula of parody and satire, executed by two extremely likeable and energetic actors.
Copyright © in the review belongs to the reviewer
Madcap slapstick hilarious satire
Review by Nik Smythe 25th Oct 2012
Three and a half years ago I took my son, then seven, to see a visiting British family comedy show called Potted Potter. He found it most entertaining in spite of the fact that he hadn’t read or seen any of the books or films, and I found it equally so despite the fact I had. Now he’s ten, and has read most of the books and seen all the films, and Potted Potter is back following great worldwide success including productions on the Westend and Broadway.
It has a different cast now, and predictably more of a budget – though not so much to completely do away with the determinedly lo-fi format. Naturally there are any number interchanged one-liners and ad-libs to keep the off-the-cuff premise fresh, and updated observations due in part to the fact the film series has since been completed. But essentially it’s the same show: a madcap slapstick hilarious satire based on one of the most successful fantasy fiction franchises of all time.
The two young British nerds share not-dissimilar archetypal profiles to recent Australian visitors The Listies. Gary’s the long-suffering bookish straight man, resembling a British-style Leonard (of The Big Bang Theory) both in appearance and whining demeanour. Jesse is the idiot savant whose hilarious antics generally thwart Gary’s ambitious plans, and occasionally save the day.
The mission is to present all seven books in 70 minutes: a tall order at the best of times. In fact the programme runs to over 80, thanks to a plethora of amusing spats, sidetracks and misunderstandings, such as misplaced references to other major fantasy epics such as the Narnia series and Lord of the Rings, etc.
As I said, the style has a slap-dash kids dressing-up quality about it. The main factor belying this impression is the lighting, including sudden, epic sweeping light-shows, and the bright LED lit hoops for the mid-show Quidditch game where one half of the audience plays the other in a classic, though somewhat abstractly interpreted Gryffindor vs. Slytherin match.
The energetic duo strip back the seven volumes of Harry Potter so radically, and resort to such wholly imprecise props and character voices, that there’s barely even enough resemblance to the original to accurately call it a parody. As well as subverting any expectations we may have been silly enough to come with, the lads manage to corpse each other a fair bit throughout, invariably contributing to our own mirth.
Early on Jesse levels with Gary (and us) that he hasn’t read the books, although he often lapses into a lucid state to concisely relay the essence of the plot. Conversely Gary, allegedly the UK’s Harry Potter aficionado, suddenly seems to forget the crucial tragic twist of The Half Blood Prince.
All for comic purposes of course, the consistency and believability of the protagonists is clearly nowhere on the company’s agenda. Ultimately, said mega-franchise is simply the selected theme for the singular purpose of causing large family-filled auditoriums to laugh heartily. In this respect, mission accomplished!
As such, it’s not entirely necessary to be familiar with the story to get one’s money’s worth, although a working knowledge will certainly bring exponential dividends. The only folks who may feel affronted in any way are real-life Gary types, i.e. uptight Harry Potter purists with no sense of humour.
Copyright © in the review belongs to the reviewer