Presented by Scriptease
Reviewed 5 March 2016
Unplotted Potter premiered for a raucous sold-out crowd on Saturday, as the admittance line snaked around the full length of the Tandanya foyer. The show was delayed by a few minutes as every single seat was carefully occupied. When asked if they were Harry Potter fans, all 160 audience members applauded with enthusiasm.
Host Jarrad Parker introduced the band of players, and explained how the improvised play would proceed. A golden Goblet of Fire was brought onto stage, complete with blue-cellophane flames, in which the names of every minor character from the Potter series were written on slips of paper. Parker asked audience members to pluck three names from the Goblet, and briefly introduced their character histories. By way of applause and catcalls, the audience then voted on which character’s story they wanted to see. The winner of Saturday’s performance was Phineas Nigellus Black – Slytherin, once Headmaster of Hogwarts, and ancestor of Sirius.
But the story could not begin yet. Parker explained that Scriptease wanted to get every detail right, according to Potter lore. Therefore he engaged in a brief Potter trivia contest with volunteers from the audience, in order to choose a Guardian in charge of censoring all incorrect references.
With character chosen and Guardian armed with a bicycle hooter, the play could commence. The improvised story saw a school-aged Phineas fight with his cruel mother, as he swore by Unbreakable Vow to one-day become Headmaster. We then followed his next school year as he campaigned to be elected Class President, and engaged in a scandalous love affair with a pureblood Hufflepuff girl.
The story was peppered with Potter jokes, improvised montages, and hilarious tangents – such as Muggle versus Wizard calisthenics classes. While it was clear that Parker was guiding the story, Scriptease boasts several talented comedians. The story was purposefully haphazard and irresistible.
Keep in mind that given the premise, Unplotted Potter promises to deliver a unique performance every night.
Reviewed by Nicola Woolford
Rating (out of 5): 4
Venue: Tandanya Theatre
Season: 5th March – 13th March
Duration: 60 mins
Tickets: $12.00 – $23.00
Bookings: Book through FringeTix online or at a FringeTix box office (booking fees apply)