Houston Harry Potter fans, get your spell books out and brush up on your Patronus charm, as Potted Potter returns to Houston’s Hobby Center on Tuesday, Oct. 27. The show, a whirling and high-energy two-man show, combines all seven books in the Potter series—the perfect night out for fanboys and fangirls, and recent converts to the series.
Olivier Award-nominated actors Jefferson Turner and Daniel Clarkson transformed their love for the tale about “the boy who lived” into a 70-minute show that has toured throughout the UK and US for almost a decade. The friends developed the play in Clarksons’ parents’ back room over the course of a few months. When creating the script, both Turner and Clarkson wanted to seamlessly distinguish all seven books from each other and focus on the central relationship between Harry and Volde…er, “he who must not be named.” But of course, the show is all about having a laugh, too.
They also had to figure out how to perform epic set pieces with only the two of them on stage, such as the series’ prevalent Quidditch scenes. And like a flick of the wand, the guys easily found their answer: Recreate a live Quidditch match in the middle of the production with audience participation. Engaging members of all ages in the theater also encourages even the least Potter-savvy to get in on the geeky fun.
“We genuinely love the eclectic mix we have in our audience,” Clarkson explains. “While we always enjoy seeing fellow fans of the boy wizard, you don't have to be a Hogwarts expert to enjoy the show.”
“We also were not scared to omit 500 pages of plot for the sake of a funny wig!” Turner adds.
Naturally, the two actors wouldn’t be true Potter followers without knowing what Hogwarts “house” they belong in. Clarkson considers himself to be a Hufflepuff who enjoys the easy life, whereas Turner is a self-proclaimed Gryffindor, admitting he was a “goody-goody” in school.
“I have been playing Harry for 10 years now, what other choice do I have?” Turner jokes.
With the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them spin-off film in production, and the expansion of amusement park Potterworld moving from Florida to California, it’s safe to say that Potter-mania will never die—which works out perfectly for the spoof.
“Who knows? Maybe we'll be able to one day hand the show over to our grandchildren,” Clarkson jokes.
Potted Potter. Oct. 27–Nov.8. $48-109. The Hobby Center, 800 Bagby St. 713-315-2525. thehobbycenter.org