Griffindor! Griffindor!… Slytherin! Slytherin!”… The auditorium erupts as the audience is roped in for a quick game of quidditch – minus the broomsticks.
With a big ball (sorry, quaffle) in the centre, and two goals outlined on either side, it is up to the audience to score while Potter 2 and the Seekers cheer from the stage.
Does anyone actually score? We didn’t, although one dad came close.
And Seekers, if you are lucky enough to get the job, do get into the spirit of the thing.
Nobody is laughing at you, we’re all too busy having fun.
If this is double Dutch to you – and you’ve never heard of Dobbie or Dumbledore – then this probably isn’t your show.
If you are a Harry Potter fan, then you’re in for a hilarious 70 minutes – actually, with the quidditch it was more like 90 minutes.
Daniel Clarkson (Potter 1) and Jefferson Turner (Potter 2) play a pair of actors who are assigned to tell the Harry Potter saga – all seven books and eight movies – in 70 minutes, with practically no budget.
There’s lots of banter and leg-pulling as they unleash everything, from song and dance to powerpoint and puppets. Clarkson is the straight guy – the one with the glasses – and the irrepressible Turner plays everyone else.
Wigs and hats go flying in what looks like spontaneous ad-lib, but is no doubt carefully scripted. Aha, I caught them corpsing once, though.
With madcap energy they gallop through the saga, from the first “I am Harry Potter”, through to the Chamber of Secrets, the battles against dragons and dementors, and, of course, the appearances of the evil Voldemort (Turner with red horns) and his snake Nagini (which doubles as the basilisk – gotta keep the budget down).
To pick up all the quick jokes you probably need to have seen a couple of the movies, at least.
There are also quick and hilarious references to the other big movie franchises – Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, even Twilight. But Harry fans are probably well versed in them anyway.
For the rest, well, I laughed until I ached. I was there with a gaggle (or is it giggle?) of teenagers and they loved it too.
The show has been around in various forms since 2006 and played extensively in the UK before embarking on its present world tour.
We’re the last stop, so it’s well and truly polished. Both last year and this year, it was nominated in the Best Entertainment category in the Oliver Awards.
Potted Potter is described as the unauthorised “Harry” experience, a parody by Dan and Jeff. Well, they do take a few liberties, but it’s done in affection and fun.
After seeing this show, you might even want to read the books… if you haven’t already.