Listen up Muggles. Potted Potter is coming to town.
If you, like me, are still waiting for your letter from Hogwarts inviting you to enrol and come September to climb aboard a scarlet engine departing from platform nine and three quarters, then this may be of interest to you. Similarly however, if you have no idea what I'm talking about, apart from asking how big the rock you've been living under since the late 90s is, I'd also ask that you stick around to find out more.
Potted Potter is a theatre show where they cram the entire seven books in the wonderful Harry Potter series into one seventy minute show. This is done in a manner that is slightly tongue in cheek as you can no doubt imagine. There's also apparently a 'real-life game of Quidditch' which will surely be an impressive few minutes although unless they have broken the laws of physics will not in fact be completed on Firebolts or Nimbus 2001s (flying broomsticks for the uninitiated).
The show is created by double Olivier Award Best Entertainment nominees Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner and is pretty high-energy and comedic. If you're a devout fan and have no sense of humour about the characters then you might struggle a bit with this show. Although, according to many reviews it is actually quite accurate and even true Potter buffs are mostly accepting.
Yes, the thought of actually giving a truly accurate version of events in seventy minutes may seem a bit laughable (when they could barely manage to get all the most important bits into the eight movies that were made) but the point of this show is in fact to make you laugh. So, if you're so tickled by the mere idea of it that you're already laughing, then it's already succeeded, hasn't it?
However, I admit to being skeptical about whether it is possible to pull off what they're attempting. Or rather, I question the ability to do it in any serious way. And there's the rub. A quick look at a few Youtube videos tells me that this show will be made up of particularly madcap and not exactly high-brow humour and that it is probably not aimed at nor suitable for the proper West End sophisticates among Harry Potter fans. The clips include jokes where an invisible Hedwig poos on Harry, and the actors use silly voices for the characters.
I suggest that this is one for the younger Harry Potter fans out there and the young at heart - the costumes don't look all that elaborate (a fiery-red Ronald McDonaldesque wig for one of them to become Ronald Weasley is used in one of the clips), but this sense of it all being slapped together rather hurriedly is no doubt part of the charm.
Indeed, it appears that the show will live up to its name of Potted Potter and be a potty undertaking indeed. If you're after a night of light-hearted entertainment give it a go, but don't expect to be overly enlightened - trying to mine more meaning in the Potter story from this show may make you feel like Professor Snape trying to read the Marauder's Map.
PERTH 2-7 OCTOBER HEATH LEDGER THEATRE, STATE THEATRE CENTRE
BOCSTICKETING.COM.AU OR 08 9484 1133
SYDNEYTHEATRE.ORG.AU OR 02 9250 1999
TICKETMASTER.COM.AU OR 1300 111 011
BRUCE MASON CENTRE
TICKETMASTER.CO.NZ OR 09 970 9700
GROUPS 10 09 970 9334
30 OCTOBER – 4 NOVEMBER
TICKETEK.CO.NZ OR 0800 TICKETEK
GROUPS 10 04 384 3842
PLAYHOUSE THEATRE, QPAC
QPAC.COM.AU OR 136 246
GROUPS 10 07 3840 7466
HER MAJESTY'S THEATRE
BASS.NET.AU OR 131 246
GROUPS 10 08 8205 2220