Monday, June 30, 2008


Cramphorn Theatre


A bookshelf with those seven books, a pointy hat, a school desk, and the very talented Dan and Jeff.

As they reminded us, it's not the stage that matters, it's those 300 or more characters. We didn't see all of them, but these manic, and very silly, young men kept their promise and whisked us through the Rowling oeuvre in a wizard 70 minutes.

Dobby the house-elf was a glove puppet, Book Three was a PowerPoint presentation. We played Quidditch – our side lost by 160 points – and laughed at the Smurf poo, the cat food, the desperate magic, the only Wizard in the village and the final duet between Voldemort and Harry – what else but I Will Survive.

As with the best comedy, it was hard to see what was genuinely fresh, improvised or unexpected. Were we really the first audience to score in the World Cup ? Is it that rare for the Golden Snitch to be rugby tackled by a determined ten-year-old ? Did Harry really get wetter than usual rescuing Ron from the lake ?

The audience included a lot of fans of the books, some quite young, but no-one was patronised, and everybody left the Cramphorn happier, if none the wiser. The show goes back to its Edinburgh Fringe roots this summer – let's hope these busy lads find time to devise another potted parody for next year.

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