Theatre Review: Potted Potter

Harry rides again and this potted version is no cursed child – just great fun! The laugh of a lifetime

Harry rides again and this potted version is no cursed child – just great fun! The laugh of a lifetime

Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed: 10 May, 2024

Attention all Gryffindors, Ravenclaws, Hufflepuffs, Slytherins, Hogwartians, Half-Bloods and Muggles (we non-Wizards): get on your Quidditch sticks and hurry to Platform 9 and ¾ to go not to Hogwarts but to the Dunstan Playhouse to see the hilarious Potted Potter.

Conceived and written by twice Olivier Award nominated actors Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner, the show is an attempt to cram all seven J.K. Rowling ‘Harry Potter’ novels into 70 mins. The show is actually 75 mins but the first 5 are spent getting us used to the concept and finding out how and why it’s going to be performed on the cheap by two highly skilled and talented actors, Scott Hoatson and Brendan Murphy. The show has been performed in New York, the West End and has just finished a spot in Las Vegas.

Scott and Brendan do not stop entertaining for the whole of the performance and hold the entire audience, no matter what age, in the palm of their Sorting Hats. Scott is the holder of all knowledge H. Potter related and therefore plays Harry (Daniel Radcliffe watch out!). Brendan plays the other (believe it or not) 300 odd characters that adorn all seven novels – with a little help from a bearded Dame Judi Dench (all will be revealed if you see the show).

Both Scott and Brendan are consummate actors with Scott being the all-time perfect straight man and Brendan being the comic of all time – his wig and voice swapping are superb especially in the Book Six segment. He really shows his people skills to great hilarious effect when organising the entire audience into participating in a live Quidditch match in the confines of the Dunstan Playhouse – yes, you heard right: a real LIVE Quidditch match!! This reviewer was a Gryffindor and we won – YAY!!! We didn’t score but our young Seeker caught the Golden Snitch, or a close resemblance to it.

The amount of physical comedy that emanates from the two actors is phenomenal. The energy just abounds with both of them. It is their perfect interaction with one another and comic timing from both that had the Opening Night audience in fits of laughter. This reviewer has never laughed so hard and so often (roughly every second). 

It’s hard to say too much about the show without giving jokes and routines away. Let’s just say that this is an ideal show for six years old through the entire adult range. There is slapstick for the littlies and modern pop culture jokes for the adults – and they all work. To say that Potted Potter is hilarious is a huge understatement – it’s as cute as Doby the House Elf and as huge in its comedy as Hagrid.

Grab your Portkey, incant “Portus” and transport yourself to the Dunstan Playhouse to see Potted Potter – even He Who Must Not Be Named says it’s right on the nose.

Reviewed by Brian Godfrey

Photo credit: supplied

Venue:  Dunstan Playhouse
Season:  Until 12 May 2024
Duration:  75 mins (No Interval)
Tickets:  $69.90 – $79.90

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