Potted Potter – Gaiety Theatre – Review

Potter Potter

Potter Potter – Review by Emily Elphinstone

In an era of short attention spans, it seems fitting that a show condensing all the (increasingly chunky) Harry Potter books into 70 minutes has become a smash-hit success around the world. ‘Potted Potter’, which was first created as a 5 minute street performance to entertain the crowds eagerly awaiting the midnight launch of book 6, retains much of its deliberately low budget charm; and many of the strongest moments came from the performers’ improvised interaction with the audience. I can certainly see why the old adage warns against working with ‘children or animals’, but any 6 year old hecklers and over talkative volunteers were tackled with incredibly quick wit.

Created by Dan Clarkson and Jeff Turner, who have worked on a number of children’s programmes on CBBC, ‘Potted Potter’ is most definitely a show for children; often leaning closer to Panto than Parody. However, there’s plenty to keep adults entertained along the way; and as well as updating the show as each book was released, Clarkson and Turner keep things fresh with topical references including Miley Cyrus and Putin, as well as nods to Ireland: It’s clear that this can become a different show every night, in the best of senses.

My only criticism must be that this lively show that is clearly a survivor of the Edinburgh Fringe is on in such a large venue as the Gaiety. Though it is no doubt one of the most striking venues in Dublin, and there was barely an empty seat in the house; it seemed a shame to feel left out of the action during this very audience focused show, because of seats with a view so restricted that we could only see half the stage at the best of times, and very little of the live Quidditch match and its (quite literal) pitfalls.

If you’re looking for entertainment with the children during the Easter holidays, then I’d highly recommend taking them along to ‘Potted Potter’; but just make sure you avoid the cheap seats.

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