British comedians Jesse Briton and Gary Trainor do the Manila run of Potted Potter

Two Muggles Cast a Roomful of Laughs

The promotional catchphrase sums it up: “All seven Harry Potter books in seventy hilarious minutes!” Two-time Olivier Award nominees Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner have been busy touring the globe, playing to sold-out theater houses.

Their material: Potted Potter—a comedy sketch-meets-improv theater centered on spoofing all seven Harry Potter books in one show. Since Dan and Jeff are busy with their New York tour, they auditioned hundreds of guys to find the best two chaps to do the Manila tour. British comedians Jesse Briton and Gary Trainor landed the gig.

One of the scenes from opening night

On Tuesday’s opening night, I was in the audience laughing with my fellow muggles, plus a few adorable young wizards wearing their Gryffindor robes and waving their wands.

Not to be confused with Darren Criss’ A Very Potter Musical, also an unofficial parody, Potted Potter is a two-man show where Jesse and Gary spoof as many characters as they could in one hilarious night.

Gary and Jesse

As a Harry Potter fan, I enjoyed the duo’s inside jokes and comic references to all things Hogwarts. Jesse and Gary also did their homework by peppering their lines with a few Filipino cultural allusions, much to the delight of the mostly teenage and family audience. The two would often break the fourth wall and even managed to pull off a crazy game of Quidditch in the theater.

British comedians Jesse Briton and Gary Trainor do the Manila run of Potted Potter

Some fans of Potted Potter say that people who’ve never read any Harry Potter book or aren’t really familiar with the films will still enjoy the show. I disagree; I think you have to be familiar with the terminologies and background of J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world to completely enjoy the Potted Potter experience.

Now excuse me while I eat a chocolate frog.

Catch the last few shows of Potted Potter’s limited engagement on
September 1 (2:30pm, 5pm & 7:30pm) and September 2 (5pm & 7:30pm) at the
Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati.
Tickets are available at Ticketworld for P2,950, P1,900, and P950 each.

photos from Concertus Manila and Potted Potter Manila

November 12, 2012 update:

After sold out houses for its first season last August, Potted Potter, The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A Parody by Dan & Jeff, will return to Manila on January 30 to February 3, 2013 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza for 9 shows only!