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Duo conjure a Potter gone potty

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TO Potted Potter

MADCAP MAGICIANS: Jesse Briton, left, and Gary Trainor in Potted Potter.

Potted Potter

VENUE: Pieter Toerien Theatre, Montecasino

Cast: Jesse Briton, Gary Trainor

UNTIL: January 6

RATING: ***

Seven books in a little over 70 minutes. That’s barely enough to cover the full gamut of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter experience.

But if you’ve so far been immune to the spell cast over the world by this boy wizard, this is just the introductory course for you should you want to get up to speed. Dedicated Hogwarts scholars and muggles are equally welcome to enrol.

On stage, one well-versed Potter devotee and his rapscallion of a sidekick take you on a guided, but whimsical, tour of this magical universe.

Monsters get the stuffing knocked out of them (literally), while the game Quidditch gets a beach-ball revamping with some wry commentary and a snitch sent to run the gauntlet looking like “Bob the Builder on a night out”.

With so many characters having graced the pages of Rowling’s novels, there isn’t enough time to pore over the intricacies of each sub-plot, which means the most important parts get a revolving role in this condensed Potter experience.

With only two people on stage, wigs, specs and koki pens cater for much of the wardrobe.

Trainor plays the experience straight – most of the time – as a budding theatre star dreaming big and being forced to settle for far less. Briton is his laugh-a-minute sidekick who spent all the money set aside for a cast and props on stuffed animals.

His madcap performance and constant swopping of roles, without ever really trying to mimic the Potter characters, provides the energy that spurs on Trainor’s direction.

Potted Potter started as a five-minute street-theatre spoof of the Potter phenomenon – it’s popularity necessitating a fleshing-out of the story.

Legend has it that JK Rowling herself tried to sneak into a performance, only to be turned away by an usher who didn’t recognise her.

Though this is a very unauthorised treatment of Potter, no doubt she would have been proud of the results.

What she would’ve witnessed is a whirlwind tour of her literary creation, told haphazardly, yet remarkably fluently.

Briton and Trainor play to the audience, so if you’d like a taste of Potted Potter, think of this as the Rocky Horror Picture Show with a boy wizard slant.

Join in the fun, laugh, cheer and keep your tongue firmly in your cheek.


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