It all began in 2005 when the duo created a five-minute street show recapping the first five books to entertain queues of fans waiting for the midnight release of the next book. That turned into a one-hour performance (with another 10 minutes added just a few days after book seven's release). Ever since then, Potted Potter has toured the world and was even nominated in the Best Entertainment category at the Olivier Awards in 2012.
This production stars Gary Trainor and Jesse Briton, two guys with more energy than a room full of caffeinated kids. With limited costumes (and unlimited liberties), they recreate a world of wizards, including Dobby, dragons, dementors, death eaters, and the awesome evilness of he who must not be named. (Let's call him Voldemort.)
It's all very silly and happens at such a frenetic speed that you might be a bit lost if you're not at least somewhat familiar with the movies or books. And yet being totally unschooled in all things Harry Potter (and admitting upfront that he's not much of a fan) didn't stop my friend from laughing even louder than me! If that's not a case of spellbinding theatre magic, I don't know what is.
Potted Potter (suitable for muggles aged six to Dumbledore) is on at Cape Town's Theatre on the Bay until 26 January. Tickets are available from Computicket. For more information, go to www.pottedpotter.com.