Potted Potter Returns to Houston at the Hobby

(L-R) Jeff Turner and Dan Clarkson, writers and creators of Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experienc.
(L-R) Jeff Turner and Dan Clarkson, writers and creators of Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experienc. Photo courtesy of Starvox Marketing

Seven books in 70 minutes — that's the promise of Potted Potter a parody that condenses all of J.K. Rowling's books about Harry Potter into one frenetic play. There's even a Quidditch match in there.

The Hobby Center's Zilkha Hall will play host to the return engagement and demand is high for tickets, we're told, so better commit sooner rather than later. .

Scott Hoatson plays the bespeckled boy wizard Harry, a role he's played before. "I still enjoy doing the show. It's a lot of fun."  He says while the show is definitely scripted, "There's a lot of scope for ad-libbing. The audience will shout things out." Audiences in different cities react to different lines in different ways, he says. Which means whatever show you see will be unique.

Hoatson, who did theater as a kid, says he really got interested when it was explained to him that "Some people make this a career and you can get paid for it." His career choice has taken him around most of the United States and the world. 

Rather than call Potted Potter a parody, Hoatson, who is a self-described Harry Potter fan, refers to it as a "homage or a parody that's done with love." He described its two creators — Jeff Turnerand Dan Clarkson— as "fanboys wanting to write a show about something they love."

And the result is an enterprise that attracts several generations of fans, he says. "Basically it’s quite adventurous.  We attempt to tell the entire story in 70 minutes. We play a live game of Quidditch. It's quite energetic."

While Hoatson plays Harry for the majority of the show, his fellow actor Brendan Murphy plays every other character, employing an assortment of wigs, hats and glasses to denote the sudden change. "It's great fun," he says, comparing the experience to something like "a runaway train."

Performances are scheduled for December 11 through December 30 at various times including 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays,  2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and 8 p.m. Saturdays and some other days of the week at the Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information, call 713-315-2525 or visit $50-$112.
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Margaret Downing is the editor-in-chief who oversees the Houston Press newsroom and its online publication. She frequently writes on a wide range of subjects.
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