Dan Clarkson and Jeff Turner first started out “potting” things in 2005 when were commissioned to write and perform a street show condensing the first five Harry Potter books into just five minutes and they never looked back!
In 2006 Potted Potter became a full-length theatrical piece and they followed it up in 2010 at the Edinburgh Fringe with Potted Panto which they’re currently reprising for five weeks at The Garrick Theatre.
Potted Potter takes six traditional pantos, “Jack & The Beanstalk”, “Dick Whittington”, “Snow White”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “Cinderella” and “Aladdin” (plus “A Christmas Carol”) and distils them down to their basic stories taking just 80 minutes (including an interval), performed by Dan and Jeff with the occasional help from ASM’s Paul Aitchison and Joanna Bool but it’s mainly Dan and Jeff performing at breakneck speed with multiple costume changes and the odd puppet or two.
Now a show that’s aimed at children should be reviewed by children, so I took a couple of my nieces along and here’s what they thought:
Lola (aged 12) said: I enjoyed the show because I’d seen Dan and Jeff on TV on CBBC and it was fun to see them live. Dan even came around before the show and shook hands with people in the audience including my uncle! I thought it was very good and I liked the bits when they threw sweets into the audience although I didn’t catch any! I didn’t like it much when they used water guns and I got a little wet. The other thing I thought was that it was a bit repetitious and I got a little confused at the end when “Aladdin” turned into “A Christmas Carol” but we had a fun time.
Marnie (10) said: It was good fun – I like Dan and Jeff. I liked “Cinderella” the best and I caught three sweets and Lola didn’t get any – but I did give her one of mine! I also liked the song at the end that we all had to sing. I thought it was a bit repetitious at times but I still enjoyed it.
All in all, it’s a fun outing for children from 3-13 and the audience was having a great time. There were quite a lot of wee and poo jokes which of course kids love. For the adults, there were jokes about Boris, Brexit, and Trump but it wasn’t exactly biting satire – “Private Eye” has nothing to worry about! The highlights were when they did recaps of the first half that got faster and faster and the “3D” section where they had the whole audience on their feet moving as one. I personally could have done without the interval but I guess there’s a lot of ice-cream that needs to be sold.
It’s an inventive, energetic 80 minutes and as Lola and Marnie said “fun“. So, if you’re looking for an entertaining afternoon out with the kids, then this could be the show for you.
Review by Alan Fitter
Seven classic pantomimes in eighty hilarious minutes! Double Olivier nominees Dan and Jeff return for a fourth festive season of Potted Panto, hot on the heels of their world tour of Potted Potter.
In a madcap ride through the biggest stories and best-loved characters from panto, our dastardly double act dash from rubbing Aladdin’s lamp to roaming the golden streets of Dick Whittington’s London. It’s all unmissable fun, whether you’re six or 106.
2 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0HH
Running Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Age Restrictions: Suitable for ages 6+
Show Opened: 10th Dec 2016
Booking Until: 15th Jan 2017