Harry Potter story in just one hour

18:55, Oct 23 2012
Potted Potter, Gary Trainor and Jesse Briton
BIG EDIT: Gary Trainor and Jesse Briton have condensed the whole Harry Potter story down into an hour-long show.

There are just over 900,000 words in the Harry Potter series of books, which would take more than a wet weekend to get through.

But to save time, Jesse Briton and Gary Trainor have condensed the whole thing down, performing all seven books in just over an hour in the West End hit, Potted Potter.

The show was created by Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner in 2005 for an appearance at a London bookshop - a five-minute performance as fans waited for the release of the sixth book.

Since then, it has gone on to gain an Olivier Award nomination, and tour the world with multiple casts.

Yesterday it celebrated its first visit to Auckland with a performance at Rangitoto College.  

From "Ginger Ninja" Ron Wesley (think a red-headed Ali G), a rather manly Hermione and Lord Voldermort as the devil, the show is full of characters easily recognised, but ever so slightly hammed-up for the full 70 minutes.

"If you've read the books, you'll know some of them have really big set pieces in them. Well we do all of that, but better than the books. About 11 or 12 per cent better," said Briton.

In a question and answer session with students of the North Shore high school, the pair reeled off some of the stunts brought to life within the show, including a fire-breathing dragon, slippery serpent and a full, audience participation game of Quidditch - one that occasionally gets out of hand.

"There was a couple in the front show in Melbourne. The snitch landed in front of them and they actually started fighting over it," said Briton.

Along with the upcoming performances in Auckland and Wellington, the show has recently toured Singapore and Hong Kong, and will be in South Africa during December.

Trainor said while there was an initial fear the stories had a sense of humour that was "too British", Potted Potter's sensibilities had come across well all over the world.

But there have been some disappointments for the two actors within the production.

"I always thought I would be in Gryffindor [Harry Potter's house at Hogwarts], but I did a test and turns out I'm a Hufflepuff," said Trainor.

"It just doesn't have the same sort of street-cred as Gryffindor, does it?"

Potted Potter - The Unauthorised Harry Experience

October 24 - 28 at Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna
Tickets from Ticketmaster

October 31 - November 4 at Opera House, Wellington
Tickets from Ticketek


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