FRINGE REVIEW – Potted Potter: The Unauthorised Harry Experience – Dan and Jeff

*****

We suspect that the fact that the very last movie in the Harry Potter series is currently in cinemas means that the parody Potted Potter show is attracting older audiences as the Potter generation comes of age.  There certainly seemed to be a broad spectrum of ages in the large audience which the Pleasance Courtyard venue can accommodate.

Dan and Jeff first launched the Potted Potter show some 5 years ago now, just as the final of the 7-volume series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” by JK Rowling was released.  Our junior reviewers had seen the show a couple of years ago, but having enjoyed last year’s Potted Panto so much, they were very keen to see it again.

The premise of the show is that Dan and Jeff (who you may know from CBBC) aim to condense the entire story into a 70-minute show, and not just by reading aloud very quickly!

They are masters of comic timing, and and their stagecraft is superb.  We live for the little errors which they make, as they’re so good at picking up and improvising that it’s sometimes very hard to know whether they are errors or they’re just working out how to squeeze another laugh from the audience.

Even before the show, Dan was spending time meeting the audience and chatting to people, while Jeff was seen on stage ‘mugging up’ or was that ‘muggling up’, by reading intently right up until show time.  The opening scenes are pure comedy as Jeff explains why he hasn’t quite managed to commission all the actors necessary to stage the show, and getting mixed up between the props needed for Harry Potter and those perhaps more suited to other children’s classics of late.

The audience participation, which is such an anticipated part of the show for Dan and Jeff’s many fans, took the form of a Quidditch match, but on the day we saw the show, Dan made the mistake of choosing the only 7-year old who could scrum tackle the golden snitch (or was this deliberately intended to ensure that Jeff took yet another fall?).

This show has a broad appeal, it’s not just for children, nor just for Harry Potter fans, and this is evidenced by the large crowds who are currently flocking to see it.  If you haven’t got a ticket yet, then it’s only on till the 16th after which you’ll have to head to London to see it again.

Added comments by Helen (13): Very funny and never a dull moment.  I really liked it when Dan was changing hats so quickly to be all the different characters.

Added comments by Alex (9): I thought it was very funny.  I’ve seen most of the Harry Potter films, but they weren’t funny like this.  My favourite bit was the Order of the Phoenix when Dan was flashing through all the characters and getting dizzy.

By the McNaughton family review team

Dates: 3 – 16 August @ Pleasance Courtyard

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