Any ‘Harry Potter’ nut will understand the difficulty in attempting to explain all seven books in 70 minutes, as ‘Potted Potter’ does. Just imagine having to do it in five! Yet that’s where Dan Clarkson and Jeff Turner’s idea for a ‘Potter’ digest stemmed from.
In 2005 they entertained fans queuing for the sixth book outside a London bookstore with a five-minute version of this opus, which then only involved five of the novels. Eight years on and the fabulously witty duo have taken their show around the world, been nominated for an Olivier Award and are currently doing a ‘Potted Potter’ run at the Garrick Theatre.
It’s easy to see why these two children’s TV presenters have been so successful. Their energy onstage is frantic, but their delivery is quick, playful and incredibly well-rehearsed. A lot of the show appears improvised – something that’s emphasised by the makeshift-looking set – but every supposed hiccup has its part to play, such as Dan’s inability to differentiate between the plot of JK Rowling’s series and ‘Lord of the Rings’, or hand puppets in place of the life-sized animatronics that Jeff specifically requested.
It’s a fast-paced performance that’s certainly not short on laughs. A particularly lively highlight being the game of Quidditch played amongst the audience with an inflatable quaffle. Of course, if you haven’t read the ‘Harry Potter’ books or seen the movies, this will come across as two men maniacally running around a stage. But for fans of the fictional boy-wizard, this is the perfect accompaniment to the series. It’s ‘Potter’ potted and at its pottiest. Danielle Goldstein