I’ve always been a major fan of improv, and improv was exactly what elevated Potted Potter from kitschy to kick-ass.
Admittedly, I didn’t have high hopes for this show. I mean, two white guys riffing on a YA book about depressive boarding school teens beset by a nose-less psycho? How funny could that be? Plenty funny as it turned out, and mainly because the act was relentless both in poking fun at the serious bits of the book and in playing up the exciting parts. QUIDDITCH!
In truth, the act was so improvisational that it could have been born in the common room of a frat house, with all the attendant whooping, vaulting over furniture, and make-shift props. Even better, it was peppered with enough pop-culture references that even the hipsters in the crowd were cheering. That’s a big thing, btw, since I can’t imagine anything more mainstream than a piece of work that has achieved commercial success in both its major incarnations.
Of course, because of the sheer volume of material that had to be crammed into the act’s run-time – “Seven Books in Seventy Minutes!” – a lot of artistic license had to be taken. An example would be the omission of many characters, despite those characters being both pivotal and immensely entertaining in the books and films. Loony Lovegood for instance, was nowhere in sight, as were … well, I don’t want to give too much away. The deviations from the books, however detracted not a bit from the over-all entertainment delivered by the energetic players.
Bottom line, Potted Potter was a hilarious experience, well worth the effort of going to see it.