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Theatre Review: Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience—until 03.16.19

By Samara Caplan and Laura Gauthier on March 16, 2019

Laura and Samara spend their days as non-profit unicorns and fill every spare minute exploring the world of musical theatre as BFFs (that’s Broadway Friends Forever).


The show program. Photo: Broadway Friends Forever.

Harry Potter fans rejoice, after counting down the days since your eleventh birthday has passed (for us it’s been a couple of decades) your Hogwarts letter has finally arrived! Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience has flown into Ottawa to give you the ultimate wizarding world treatment.

Potted Potter premiered in London in 2006, and has since played all over the world. A two-man show, where a good 14-plus of your favourite Harry Potter characters are represented, is no small feat. From Snape, to Malfoy, to Harry Potter himself you will see a version of these characters you have never seen before. With the actors’ (Scott Hoatson and Jonathon Saunders) quick wit, humour and banter, the show stays moving at a fast pace and of course keeps you laughing from start to finish.

A performance for kids and adults alike, you will spend all 75 minutes getting not only a reenactment of all seven Harry Potter books (that’s right, ALL seven) but you will also be crying from laughter. If the show we went to was any indication of what’s to come—we can tell you that the only way to prepare is to expect the unexpected.

You never know which way it is going to go.

In a show filled with audience participation (don’t worry if it’s not your favourite thing—they tend to pick kids for these bits) you never know which way it is going to go. A small child shouting “three cheers for the dragon” caused our show’s entire audience to shout out three bouts of ‘hip hip hooray’, and the actors to break scene and remark on how this was a first, even for them.

With references to pop culture (like Fifty Shades of Grey) and popular musicals (Wicked and Les Misérables) there’s lots for grownups to laugh about too. You will leave the theatre wiping tears from your eyes and trying to decide which part was your favourite. We had a special fondness for Snape’s French accent and, of course, all the musical references.

We don’t want to spoil anything for future audiences, but we will say to make sure to sharpen up your Quidditch skills—because they will definitely be needed—and get ready to be put under the spell of Potted Potter.

Mischief managed.


Potter Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience continues at Algonquin Commons Theatre (1385 Woodroffe Ave) until Saturday March 16, 2019. Show runs Friday at 8pm and on Saturday at 2pm and 8pm. Tickets are from $39.50–99.50. The show runs about 75 minutes with no intermission