Kate Herbert is theatre reviewer, Herald Sun, Melbourne & formerly for Melbourne Times. Kate is a director; produced playwright (21 plays). Scripts pub. Currency Press. She worked as actor, comedian, improviser & teacher of Acting, Improvisation & Playwriting. Kate was Head of Drama/Teacher, NMIT; Coordinator of Prof. Writing/ Editing, Swinburne Uni. Read her reviews here or: www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts. NB Explorer Browser doesn't always work on blog.
Tuesday, 28 October 2014
Potted Potter, Oct 28, 2014 REVIEW ****
Potter: The Unauthorised Harry Experience, by Daniel Clarkson &
Jefferson Turner Playhouse, Arts Centre, Melbourne;
Oct 28 to Nov 2, 2014 Reviewer: Kate Herbert on Oct 28 Stars: **** Full review also published in Herald Sun online on Wed Oct 29, 2014 and later in print. KH
Benjamin Stratton and James Percy
Potted Potter is a goofy, impudent
parody of all seven Harry Potter books performed in 70 minutes that would make
even J.K. Rowling laugh.
engaging actors, cheeky Benjamin (Ben) Stratton and geeky James Percy, portray
all of Rowling’s characters; well, about 20 of the main ones, anyway.
This family show has no flashy set or
lighting, no astounding animatronics, fancy costumes or huge cast of famous
actors because Ben spent the entire show budget on a spectacular dragon for
Potter, originally devised and performed by Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson
Turner and directed by Richard Hurst, mercilessly parodies the story, characters, magic and the sheer length
of the series.
Ben hasn’t read the books, most of the gags arise from his wildly inaccurate
characterisations: Ron Weasley is a rap-talking, Jamaican kid in an orange clown
wig, Voldemort wears devil’s horns, Snape has a dodgy French accent, Hagrid wears
a Motown afro, and Hermione sports plaits and a crusty baritone.
Meanwhile, James, the exasperated Potter
purist, struggles to portray Harry accurately and to honour his adventures in
Hogwarts, but he is horrified by Ben’s sabotage
of his favourite scenes and becomes the butt of all of Ben’s gags.
There was enough playful, audience
participation, with highlights being a 9-year old who wrestled James to the
ground when James was playing the Golden Snitch, and somebody’s grandad who kicked
insane goals during the Quidditch match.
powerpoint presentation of the entire book three is inspired and his
fast-switching between characters behind the wardrobe gets plenty of laughs for
its hilarious, intentional messiness.
the peak of the show is the inspired finale that plays the final book, The Deathly
Hallows, as a duet of I Will Survive sung by Voldermort and Harry.
impertinent mockery of the Potter series is a delight for the family and a must
for the initiated that love the books.