Horcrux. Hufflepuff. Muggle. Quidditch. Squib.
If you’ve been living in a cave since 1997, you might not recognize these words from Harry Potter, the series of seven fantasy novels by British writer J.K. Rowling that chronicles the lives of young wizard Harry Potter and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, all students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
But even if you don’t know the difference between a horcrux and a hufflepuff, you’ll still be entertained by the comic mayhem of Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A Parody by Dan and Jeff.
The hit family-friendly show comes to Showplace Performance Centre in downtown Peterborough for two performances at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 11th and Tuesday, March 12th.
Suitable for children ages six and older, the production is performed in Monty Python-esque style by two actors who recap the plots of all seven Harry Potter books and perform as 360 characters — with one actor as Harry Potter and the other as all the remaining characters — in 70 minutes (without an intermission).
It’s a fast-paced show featuring madcap improv, multiple costume changes, brilliant songs, dance numbers, ridiculous props, Hogwarts magic, and a live fire-breathing dragon. The performers even supervise the audience in a game of Quidditch (without the flying broomsticks).
While Potter fans both young and old will get the most out of the show, it will still be a hilarious evening out even if you’ve never read a single one of the books or seen one of the eight films based on the books (and, as a side benefit, you’ll receive a crash course in Potterdom). Children will be delighted by the Harry Potter references and parents will appreciate the in-jokes aimed at adults.
Potted Potter was originally created in the U.K. back in 2005 by former Children’s BBC hosts Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner, who performed a 15-minute street show summarizing the first five Potter books for fans who were waiting in line for the midnight release of the sixth book.
VIDEO: Scenes from “Potted Potter” with Jefferson Turner & Daniel Clarkson
The street show proved to be so popular that it began touring the U.K. the following year, expanded into an hour-long performance recapping all seven books. In 2012, Potted Potter made its North American premiere in Toronto and then opened off-Broadway in New York City, returning again to Canada multiple times over the next six years.
Potted Potter has played to sold-out houses in the U.K., Australia and New Zealand, and across North America, receiving rave reviews from the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Guardian, and many more.
“Even if you don’t know your wand from a hole in the ground, I guarantee you’ll go positively potty over Potted Potter,” wrote theatre critic Richard Ouzounian in The Toronto Star following the show’s 2012 Toronto debut. “Muggle or master wizard, you’re going to love this show.”
Presented by Potted Productions and Starvox Entertainment, the current North American tour of Potted Potter starts James Percy as Harry Potter and Jesse Briton performing all the other characters from the books.
Tickets are $56 for adults and youth and $45 for children 12 and under, with VIP seats in the first three rows costing $75 (those sitting in the VIP seats will have an opportunity to participate in the show). Tickets are available now in person at the Showplace box office (290 George St. N., Peterborough), by phone at 705-742-7469, or online at www.showplace.org.
Note: the production employs haze, strobe lights, and loud noises.