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Review: Potted Potter at the Seymour Centre

By Abbie Gallagher

I'm the most die hard Harry Potter you could ever meet. I was five when Philosopher's Stone was published and pre-ordered every book from Order of the Phoenix to Deathly Hallows. I'm a proud Ravenclaw. My wand, according to Pottermore, is cypress and unicorn hair, 12 and a quarter inches, slightly yielding. In short, I'm looking at Potted Potter from my round glasses painted rosy as the Gryffindor flag. But whether you're as big a Potterhead as me, or you've never read the books (!), there's only one word to summarise Potted Potter: fun.

Potted Potter is a 75-minute romp performed by British actors Joseph Maudsley and James Percy. The two of them perform all seven Harry Potter novels, playing many characters and creating general mayhem. Think the Muppets meets The Play that Goes Wrong mixed with your average pantomime and you have a good idea of what this show entails.

See, James is the leading Harry Potter expert in Britain, while Joe hasn't read the seventh book yet, and on top of that has spent the $25 million budget on the Hungarian Horntail dragon Harry battles in book 4. Instead, like children, they've cobbled together a feeble set, props and costumes using a hilarious array of everyday objects. (If a vacuum cleaner is a Nimbus 2000, does that make Dyson the Firebolt?)

Various outlandish aspects of the Potter novels are lambasted in a hysterical fashion, with plenty of audience interaction and some jokes you definitely shouldn't explain to the kids. The highlight of the experience for me was the game of Quidditch that the entire audience got to play together.

But there were many great moments. The actors never lose their energy and obviously love the wizarding world as much as the enthusiastic audience. It doesn't feel like a standard sit-and-watch performance as much as just spending time with a group of friends, drinking Butterbeer.

It's not all Harry though. You'll hear references to other fantasy franchises such as Narnia, Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. But the heart and soul of this production is our favourite boy wizard. As we know, the sign of true fandom is being able to laugh at it, and the laughs are never-ending here. Potterhead or not, you will laugh til you cry. And on a more poignant note, looking around at the packed audience made me realise that the real magic of Harry Potter is how it's endured so long. How it changed my generation, and how it influences the next. Harry Potter allows us all to believe in magic, no matter what house you belong in. This parody is another piece of that magic.

If you're looking for an in-depth analysis and re-enactment of Harry's story, you're not going to find that here. But if you've ever wanted to see Harry and Voldemort's graveyard showdown as a dance battle, or hear Severus Snape sing I Will Survive, I can suggest apparating to the Seymour Centre immediately.

Images Supplied

All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.


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