#RapplerKids: 5 reasons to watch Potted Potter

Basti Olaguera
A kiddie review of the Harry Potter parody

FOR THE HARRY FANS. 'Potted Potter' returns to the RCBC Plaza on January 30. All photos by Kai Magsanoc

MANILA, Philippines – I’ve always been a Harry Potter fan. I’ve watched all the movies, read the books (and movie books) and, my mom tells me, I was always dressed as Harry Potter for Halloween when I was a baby and then a toddler.

Last August, my mom and I watched “Potted Potter: A Parody by Dan and Jeff,” at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium in RCBC Plaza. What intrigued us was how all the 7 books could be squeezed into one hour and 10 minutes, how two people could play all the characters, including Harry Potter and Voldemort (and Hagrid and the basilisk), and how they could do the quidditch match inside a theater.

These were enough to get me excited.

“Potted Potter” in Manila was performed by Jesse Briton and Gary Trainor (“Dan and Jeff” are creators Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner, who started the show in 2005 in Edinburgh, Scotland as a 5-minute skit of the first 5 books in support of the launch of the 6th book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.)

EXPECTO PATRONUM! Basti (left) with a blonde 'Harry' after 'Potted Potter' in August 2012

Jesse and Gary will be back in Manila on January 30 to February 3 to re-stage “Potted Potter” at the RCBC, so I thought I’d share with you what I loved about it:

1. The warm welcome 

While the members of the audience were finding their seats, Jesse Briton, one of the actors, was greeting children (including me). He was going around the audience area and helping usher people in, while Gary sat on stage, leafing through a Harry Potter book.

2. Intelligent audience

You should have already read the books and are aware of the Harry Potter series’s comparisons with The Chronicles of Narnia. Being a movie lover will also help, because “Potted Potter” has references to “Austin Powers” and “The Lion King.”

3. Very interactive

Jesse and Gary were connected to the audience; if we laughed, they laughed as well. They reacted to our reactions. I can still remember the laughter of the audience (and that it was a packed night).

4. The quidditch match and “I Will Survive”

In the movie, players would fly around the quidditch field riding their brooms. In “Potted Potter,” there were two circles placed on the left and right sides of the auditorium in the audience area. One was red (Gryffindor) and the other one was blue (Slytherin).

Jesse and Gary threw us a beach ball and divided the audience into two teams. The objective was to shoot the ball into the opposing team’s hoop to get a point.

In the movie, the golden snitch was an object that flew around the field with seekers trying to catch it. In “Potted Potter,” it was simply actor Gary wearing a gold-painted hard hat and a gold costume.

In the movies, the fight scenes between Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort were intense and action-packed. In “Potted Potter,” it was a duet of “I Will Survive” sung by Harry (Gary) and Voldemort (Jesse).

5. The non-abrupt ending

After the show, Jesse and Gary asked the audience to stay so that they can sign the programs. My mom has taken me to other theater performances but that was the first time we experienced that.

The audience lined up, and Jesse and Gary came out to sign our programs. They also allowed us to take pictures with them. Some kids were wearing Harry Potter and Hermione costumes. Everyone left the auditorium smiling. It was fun for the family, and kids too.

So kids, if your parents allow you to watch “Potted Potter” this January, please do. Aside from taking a journey back to the movies and books, you won’t stop laughing. – Rappler.com

(“Potted Potter” returns to the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza on Jan 30, 31, Feb 1, 2, and 3. For ticket information, call TicketWorld at 891-9999. For more information on the play, visit the Potted Potter Manila Facebook page.

Basti Olaguera is a 10-year-old 5th-grade student at Claret School of Quezon City, son of Rappler’s Kai Magsanoc. He loves listening to The Beatles, reading, and watching movies.)