The unflagging thrill of potted Harry Potter

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English actors Scott Hoatson, left, and Joseph Maudsley who play all the characters in 70 minutes of “Potted Potter”.

Theatre / “Potted Potter”. Directed by Richard Hurst. At Canberra Theatre until April 7. Reviewed by BILL STEPHENS

THIS show could save you months of ploughing through the books. On the other hand, it could inspire you to dig out those Harry Potter books and actually read them.

However, in the event that you’ve already read them all, you might find yourself convulsing in paroxysms of laughter, as was the tot in front, who looked hardly old enough to read, but happily proclaimed at the end, that she had read six Harry Potters and that the show was wonderful, thereby trumping this review.

This delightfully silly concoction, the brainchild of British writers, Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner, and performed with obvious relish and unflagging enthusiasm, by Joseph Maudsley and James Percy, takes on the challenge of condensing the storylines of all seven Harry Potter books into 75 minutes.

It’s a tall order, and only the most devoted Potterphiles (and there seemed to be a lot of them in the audience) would be able to make head or tail of the madcap antics, as Maudsley and Percy assumed a myriad of characters, utilising an endless stream of ridiculous costumes and props, references to Broadway musicals and enthusiastic audience participation, as they skated through the convoluted plots.

The audience was up for the challenge however and happily split into opposing camps of Slytherins or Gryffinders for an energetic bout of Quidditch, cheered on Draco Malfoy and actually recognised Albus Dumbledore and Hermione Granger among the weird assortment of characters.

Whether you’re a Harry Potter tragic or simply Potter-curious, you’ll find it hard to resist this inspired lunacy guaranteed to tickle the fancy from tinies to Dumbledores (who’s very old indeed).

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