By N. Balani
The Potted Potter experience began way back in 2005 in England when Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner were asked to do a 5-minute street show style presentation on the first 5 Harry Potter books for fans waiting for the release of the sixth book at midnight.
They never imagined that more than a decade later they would still be performing an extended version of that magical show all over the world! This outstanding show has toured from England to Australia to Hong Kong to Dubai and now is in its fourth tour of Toronto and will go on to other cities in the USA.
This two-man parody on the world of Harry Potter will keep you rolling in laughter whether you are 6 or 66 or even the age of Lord Voldermort! The show involves a Harry Potter expert (James Percy) and a person who is definitely not a Potter expert (Brendan Murphy) trying to present a 70 minute summary of the entire 7 tomes of the Potter saga. To enjoy the slap-stick humour of this show you do not even have to know the difference between a HufflePuff and a horcrux or the names of all the creatures from the Book of Magical Creatures. The plot is simple and so is the stage set (low key wigs and hats), but the comedy is rich and a rare chance to see improvisation theatre at its very best.
Brendan Murphy’s hamming it up even keeps James Percy in splits (you might even fall off your chair!) as he has no knowledge of Harry Potter characters and keeps mixing them up with others from the Lord of the Rings and from the world of Narnia! As well, James Percy’s reaction to Brendan’s jibes keeps Brendan at times with tears rolling down his face as he is struggling to keep a straight face. James is mortified at Brendan’s prop of a small stuffed dragon making an entrance as the intimidating dragon from the Harry Potter epic. Brendan’s reaction is just to smother James with loving kisses from the dragon and say he did his best to keep within the “budget”.
Besides sending ripples of laughter through the audience, they even crack each other up in spontaneous comedy!
The interaction between the actors and audience is really taken to new heights with a game of modified quidditch which consists of two teams playing with a beach ball. Two kids are selected from the audience who hilariously wrestle down the golden snitch! It is all rip-roaring comedy with good clean family fun from beginning to end. The show ends on a high note of a duet parody of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive’ with adapted lyrics depicting Harry Potter surviving all kinds of disaster till the end!
No two shows are the same as it consists of rehearsed theatre and comedy sprinkled with extemporaneous moments as audience inputs from time-to-time take it forward.
This is a remarkable must see limited engagement in Toronto (until July 22nd 2018) for a fun-filled family outing to Mirvish’s CAA Theatre in Toronto.