Friday, April 15, 2011

Potted Potter on the London Stage

It was going to happen sooner or later, someone would come up with idea of using the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling as a basis for a stage production. Though someone has not been crazy enough to bring 'Harry Potter the Musical' to London or Broadway, for now 'Potted Potter' will return to the West End for a strict limited engagement a month after the HP movie is released.

Recommended for muggles from the age of six to Dumbledore (who is very old indeed) and in the tradition of 'The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)' is 'Potted Potter The Unauthorized Harry Experience.' See creators Dan Clarkson and Jefferson Turner play out the all seven Harry Potter books in seventy minutes. The show was first seen in 2006 and is playing a limited engagement at London's Garrick Theatre during a fifth anniversary tour.

From The Guardian's Lyn Gardner's review of the 2007 version:
Sublimely potty and done with the lightest of touches, this daft two-man parody and a heartfelt homage. In fact, it is all terrific family entertainment, as (Dan and Jeff)"muggle" along with just the right mix of boyish exuberance. Dan, in particular, often seems a trifle confused between his Potter and his Lord of the Rings and Narnia adventures. Then there is his misunderstanding about the difference between Hogwarts and warthogs. And when he plays the Defense of the Dark Arts teacher, Lupin, the werewolf has inexplicably transmuted into an elephant. These mixups weigh heavily on self-appointed Harry Potter expert Jeff, all the more because Dan has used all the money set aside to employ 20 actors on the dragon in Book Four. The dragon, needless to say, turns out to be a severe disappointment. This is the only show in town in which the audience get to participate in a game of quidditch, even though Dan appears to think that a vacuum cleaner can be substituted for a Nimbus 2000.

Dan and Jeff are known for their performances on Blue Peter, the popular and long-running British children's television series. The show began when they created a five-minute performance for a bookshop to coincide with the launch of the sixth book. Visit for more information.

The last installment in the movie series based on "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" is scheduled for release on July 14, 2011.


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