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Potted Potter at the Arts Centre Playhouse Theatre

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by Elizabeth Quinn (subscribe)
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Potted Potter: The Unauthorised Harry Experience
Potted Potter has a long history dating back to its inception in 2005 when, probably after a couple of froths, two nerds called Dan and Jeff entertained each other with their time lapse soliloquys of the plotline of each book in the Harry Potter series. Fast forward to 2014 and the 70 minute show is now touring the world, landing on the shores of Port Phillip Bay for a blink-and-you'll-miss-it five day season.

Ben Stratton and James Percy are a likeable couple of chaps with a child-friendly demeanour and a twinkle in the eye. A little bit Wiggles, a little bit rock'n'roll; an essential combination for any show pitched at children and adults alike. Just think Playschool and the gorgeous John Waters. And Phillip Quast... Where was I?

After an intro peppered with the obligatory Narnia (yay!) and Twilight (boo!) references, Ben and James have bonded good and tight with their audience of Potter magic tragics both young and old. What follow is 70 minutes of magical mayhem and some of the quickest 'costume changes' you've ever seen in your life.

This is one show where the term 'audience participation' is not a dirty one. The callout for volunteers amongst the fancy dressed crowd almost led to a stampede. Opening night saw a collection of audience oddbods including a number of witches and wizards with VERY ANNOYING pointed hats. But in the Gryffindor spirit that pervaded the room, we all managed to get along. Until the game of Quidditch…

The audience was divided in to Slytherin (boo hiss) and Gryffindor houses. Game on for young and old, resulting in a best-on-ground for one particularly sprightly senior citizen in the front stalls. Ben and James had us at hallo, but by the time the closing (and only) musical number rolled around, the crowd was spellbound in all the right ways.

Potted Potter is a rambunctious show for Potter maniacs of all ages. Don't let a less-than-encyclopaedic knowledge of the Harry Potter series deter you. This show will fill in the blanks and entertain you mightily along the way.
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Why? Worth seeing for the Dragon in Book 4 alone! King Kong who?
When: Tuesday October 28 to Sunday November 2
Phone: 1300 182 183
Where: The Playhouse Theatre Arts Centre Melbourne
Cost: $60 to $85
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