To commemorate its 15th anniversary, Potted Potter is touring nationally, with New Zealand actors Adam Brown and Tama Jarman reprising their acclaimed performance from last year. Arts editor Rita Bratovich went to their opening night show at the Seymour Centre on 22 June.
In 2005, two talented writers, Daniel Clarkson and Jeff Turner, were asked to create a short street performance summarising all five (at that point) Harry Potter books. Two more books, 15 years and hundreds of performances later, their fully-fleshed stage production has continued to entertain wizards and muggles around the world.
With big budget film adaptations of each book in the series, merchandising across every product range, and enshrinement in popular culture, it would be hard to imagine anyone could be unfamiliar with at least the basics of Harry Potter lore. That’s all you really need to enjoy this show.
There are lots of inside jokes, but most of the laughs come from the slapstick antics and vaudevillian-styled, rapid-fire exchanges between Brown and Jarman. It’s clear they’ve worked together for a while; they are seamless and intuitive in their delivery.
The set and props are minimal: a desk surrounded by books, a large wardrobe, a large sign and some other nondescript furniture, wigs, devil’s horns, pieces of apparel, a snake – the usual accoutrements for a quick sight gag.
What really drives the show is the likability of the two stars and their effervescent energy. There are moments of audience interaction to help keep everyone engaged – especially the young kids. The crowd ranged in age from barely taller than a wand through to long white beard, and across a demographic spectrum.
At 70 minutes running time, this is an easy, fun night for the family with plenty of overhead jokes to keep accompanying adults amused, although, it has to be said, there are a lot of grown-up Potter fans.
The Potted Potter Australian tour plays major cities beginning with Sydney at the Seymour Centre.
PLEASE NOTE: Sydney performance dates have been affected due to lockdown being enforced until 9 July. Please check the Seymour Centre website for updates on new arrangements and rescheduled dates.
Potted Potter is playing at the Everest Theatre, Seymour Centre, corner Cleveland Street and City Road, Chippendale. For tickets ($69.90 to $79.90 plus booking fee) and further info, visit.http://seymourcentre.com.