I don’t know about you but I don’t usually go to plays expecting to get wet. There are appropriate times and places to get wet and you would think the Raffles Hotel Jubilee Hall a far cry. But the Potted Potter were that good with their, uh, props.
I was talking about their water guns.
I should mention that I am generally a jaded audience member. I rarely laugh out loud at comedic shows and performances probably because I am a haughty Ravenclaw who thinks her “nimble” brainbox deserves only the sharpest witticism and none of the paltry Phua Chu Kang-esque humor. So naturally, this diehard HP fan went in skeptical about the 70 minutes, ready to expect entertainment suited for the kids in the audience.
…15 minutes into Potted Potter, I had a racking cough from laughing too hard.
James Percy and Benjamin Stratton were the only two actors on stage for the entire duration of the play but they wrought enough sorcery in the room to keep both the kids and their parents in stitches for the entire evening. Dressed simply in jeans and a black shirt, their outfits were a good backdrop for their props and assortment of wild wigs for each character – including a larger than life afro wig for Hagrid!
What Potted Potter basically is, is bulldozing through all seven books, with James being the HP fanatic who wants to do a show and tell for us and Ben, the cheerfully unconcerned noodle who has never read any of the books, unfortunately also in charge of the props i.e. how the water gun and us getting wet happened.
James and Ben had impeccable chemistry and repartee. While they had a script to follow, the both of them proved to be amazing improvisers during the segments involving the audience. They did a great job teasing the parents and children and making Singaporean references – one of which included a chocolate mooncake and a mess on stage! There were even some parts of the scripts that were obviously written for a British audience that didn’t translate here and the two pointed them out, much to our amusement.
Potted Potter kept us bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with instances of Ben trying his best to depict the HP saga by dropping incorrect references from “Twilight”, “Lord of The Rings” and “Star Wars” and the lively Quidditch game that involved the audience passing a large ball back and forth in an excited frenzy across the room to the “goalposts”!
What was impressive was that Potted Potter kept the portrayal of the books varied, using different mediums like Powerpoint presentations and songs. Although some of the books went by rather quickly, the finale and last book set to a glittery disco ball and Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” made up for it and ended the spellbinding evening spectacularly.