Interview with Show’s Creator, Daniel Clarkson

The Potted Potter is coming  back to Houston December 11th-30th by popular demand, and just in time for the holidays.  The critically acclaimed improv, which was a sell-out in London’s West End and in New York,  condenses all 7 Harry Potter Books into one fast-paced 70 minute show.  One of the show’s creators, British comedian Daniel Clarkson, spoke to us from London in anticipation of the show, exclaiming that “Houston is one of my favorite places.”

Daniel Clarkson

Clarkson told us that the show originated in England during the launch of the 6th Potter book, “Harry Potter And the Half-Blood Prince,”  in 2005.  A bookstore owner wanted to keep the queues entertained, and hired Dan Clarkson and Jefferson Turner to distract them from the wait.  The crowd liked the skits so much, it was developed into an improv set and debuted at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe the next year.  The show has become wildly successful, so much so that Clarkson said “we keep pinching ourselves, we’re certain immigration is going to come and kick us out.”

When asked if J.K. Rowling has ever seen the show, he said according to an urban legend “she showed up at the Edinburgh Festival and couldn’t get in to see the show,” as it was sold out.  Later on, he actually met her and found out it was true – so now J.K. Rowling “will always have a ticket waiting,”

The show is geared towards hard-core Harry Potter fans and novices alike.  It’s stayed true to it’s roots, zany, slapstick, fast-paced improv with a minimalist set.  Children are especially delighted by the show, even more so when invited to be part of the quidditch match. The audience is the third member of the team. This Potted Potter has been updated with a refreshed set design, upgraded illusions, and all the latest hilarious insights into the wonderful world of all thing Hogwarts. It includes all your favorite characters, a special appearance from a fire-breathing dragon, endless costumes, jokes, brilliant songs, ridiculous props and a generous helping of Hogwarts magic, plus lots of mayhem.

Prior to the Potted Potter, Clarkson’s experience with Harry Potter books was simply reading them to his younger brother.  Clarkson would read stories with character voices, and as it always put his brother to sleep he’s certain “there are parts of the second and third books he’s never heard of yet.”

Clarkson has two Olivier nominations and a Blue Peter Badge.” In 2015, he joined the Edinburgh smash hit One Man Breaking Bad as director, also writing additional material. The show went on to have successful tours in the UK, Australia, North America and concluded with a sell-out run in India. Last year Daniel premiered his latest creation, King Kong (a comedy), at the Vaults in London, enjoying a successful 10-week run and nominated for 3 “Offies”, including Best Production.

Clarkson has had regular appearances on BBC, ITV and Channel 4 – writing, performing and directing his unique brand of condensed comedy, and was fortunate enough to spend six months in LA training and working with The Upright Citizens Brigade. He was also in the British soap opera Coronation Street a couple of times … (he didn’t know how to fit that in but his mum said “he really should”.)


 

Presented by:     The Hobby Center Foundation in association with Starvox Entertainment and Potted Production

WHAT: Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A parody by Dan and Jeff

WHEN:  December 11 – 30, 2018

Times vary please see: www.thehobbycenter.org/PottedPotter

WHERE: Hobby Center – Zilkha Hall | 800 Bagby | Houston, TX 77002

TICKETS: Tickets at $49.99, $80.99 and $111.99 and are available by phone (713) 315-2525; online at  HYPERLINK “http://www.TheHobbyCenter.org” www.TheHobbyCenter.org or at the Hobby Center Box Office (800 Bagby, Houston, TX 77002)

Production Team: 

Richard Hurst, Director

Daniel Clarkson, Associate Director

Simon Scullion, Set Design

Tim Mascall, Lighting Design

Phil Innes, Music

Potted Potter cast members performing in Houston

SCOTT HOATSON Performer 

Scott’s recent theatre credits include: Out Of This World (Dance Touring Partnership), The Man Who Followed His Legs (Wee Stories), Woman In Mind (Birmingham/Dundee Rep), The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe (Royal Lyceum), The Wall, The Choooky Brae (Borderline Theatre), Recovery Position, Self Contained, Oedipus (National Theatre Scotland), Kidnapped, A Christmas Carol (Cumbernauld Theatre), Aladdin (Brunton Theatre). Recent screen and radio: Rocket in Bluestone42 (BBC), Outlander (Starz), Case Histories (BBC), Taggart (ITV), The Wicker Tree (Tressrock Films), The Leaving of Barra, Secrets and Lattes, The boy who ran away from the circus (BBC4). He is delighted to be appearing in Potted Potter again!

@scottwhoatson

BRENDAN MURPHY Performer 

Brendan attended drama school at Arts Ed London before going on to train in improvisation with Second City and iO alumni David Shore, and The Free Association.

Recent theatre includes: Potted Potter (US & Canada), King Kong: A Comedy (The Vaults) Twelfth Night (Orange Tree Theatre), The Adventure (The Royal Exchange), Lost Property (Soho Theatre), Accomplice: London (Menier Chocolate Factory). TV and film includes: Broadchurch (ITV), Doctors (BBC), Comedy Shorts (Sky Arts). Brendan is co-founder of improvised theatre company The One Hour Plays and a member of the award-winning short-form group BattleActs! (as heard on BBC Radio One). He has written and performed two solo comedy shows: Bagman (2015) and Enter The Bagman (2016) and will be bringing his latest offering, The Crooners, to Edinburgh Fringe 2018.

@notmurphy

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