‘Completely Improvised Potter’ uses the Harry Potter™ world, it’s characters and to a degree it’s canon, to develop a whole new (and improvised) story. This show provides an excellent opportunity for Harry Potter™ fans to dip their toe into the world of improv.
On 3 April, we saw a range of improvisers/actors with no information about their experience in the field provided. With this in mind, I will not name the performers, rather discuss what worked and what felt out of place.
To start, the show opened brilliantly and set the mood well! Once the show’s title was selected from the audience suggestions, the real magic began.
Our Harry Potter™ for the night set some strong character work early as a fierce and brooding teenager. Our Hermione Granger™ and Ron Weasley™ also had some enjoyable banter, with their awkward courting surprisingly hilarious. On a bit of a ‘silly’ night, the unconventional romances were also hauntingly amusing.
This show has a lot of potential to be incredible but with this potential also comes an element of uncertainty. It is important to remember that it is a different show every night, but on 3 April, it suffered due to selfish performer(s) who did not work as a team, who missed cues and did not assist others to develop their characters.
One performer appeared to come into the night with a preconceived idea of what character they wanted to play and how they wanted to play it. While this is perfectly understandable, the performer did not adapt on stage or incorporate others into the performance. A mistimed line or confusion over which performer is playing what character has the potential to derail a scene but remember… everything can be saved with a dream sequence.
The show is held in The Meeting Room of Trades Hall, which offers lots of seating but minimal stage space for more animated theatrics. While one performer attempted to use the space of the venue, much of the performance was restricted to the small stage that at times felt cramped.
If there ever was a time for ‘in-jokes’ and paying homage to a fictional world, this is it. This show is at it’s best when the actors give proper service to the fans who have turned out to see it. When the actors demonstrated their understanding of the world and characters, the audience delighted in the experience.
If you are not a Harry Potter fan then this show loses some of the ‘in-joke’ feeling, and many of the references will likely be missed. That said, if you are a Harry Potter fan then ‘Completely Improvised Potter’ has enough fan service to give you a good laugh, let you reminisce about how great the world is and get amongst the joys of improv.
Hug achieved: x1
Check out ‘Completely Improvised Potter’ from 30 March to 23 April 2017 [no Wednesdays] at Trades Hall. For more information and to book tickets, click here!
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