Review: Potted Potter

JESS ETHERIDGE
Last updated 12:16 25/10/2012
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.

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Even if you have never read a Harry Potter book, or seen the films, and feel it's too late to jump on the bandwagon, Potted Potter may be right up your alley.

The West End musical-parody hit had its opening night at Auckland's Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna last night and had audience members new to the phenomenon cackling in their seats and converted by the end.

Written by London's Dan Clarkson and Jeff Turner, the unauthorised show condenses seven Harry Potter books into 70 minutes, covering all the important parts of the magical series; from Harry's first encounter with chief villan Voldemort to his adventures with best friends Ron and Hermione.

Admittedly, the show's opening was slow. It took a while for actors Gary Trainor and Jesse Briton to win over the cautious audience with their quirky approach. Some jokes were too out-there for some initially.

Nevertheless, the pair threw themselves into Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the first book in the series, showing just how easy it is to hilariously sum up J.K Rowling's story in under 10 minutes.

They worked their way through books two and three, incorporating large wigs, beards and a vacuum cleaner as props, and used a projector to school the audience on the world of witches and wizards.

A game of quidditch - a mix between football and basketball on flying broomsticks - took place with the entire audience having a go. There was even a golden snitch caught, rather aggressively, by two volunteer seekers from the audience.

Trainor and Briton then wrapped up the last three books in the series, which included a "magic-off" between Harry and Voldemort, and topped off the night with a musical number which had the audience cheering and clapping along.

Potted Potter is a great introduction to the world of Harry Potter and, although spoiler-filled, shows why the series is so popular with people of all ages worldwide.

And die-hard fans of the series can relax as the show treats the critically-acclaimed series with respect but proves having a laugh at the story is all right too.

Potted Potter - Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna, North Shore
Runs until Sunday PottedPotter.com for more information.

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