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Posts Tagged ‘Jefferson Turner’

Their other show, Potted Panto, was the biggest hit of all the show’s I’ve taken my youngest godson to, so this was a popular choice; I think we actually enjoyed it even more.

It takes its lead from the Reduced Shakespeare Company, who’s The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) first appeared over 30 years ago and really started the genre. That was 37 plays in 97 minutes. Potted Panto was 8 pantos in 80 minutes. This is all 7 Harry Potter books in 70 minutes – that’s the recession for you!

It’s a two-handed parody with no set but a lot of props (and extraordinary special effects!), with the audience participating in a Quidditch match. There’s a fair share of ad-libbing, which adds to the fun, and the humour is of the silly variety (with a welcome snipe at Michael Gove for dropping drama from the school curriculum!), but Dan & Jeff are very engaging and the show has bags of charm.

There are running gags about the show’s budget for actors and animatronics and exactly how many of the books Dan has actually read, Ron’s gone all ‘street’, Hagrid is suitably Scottish, and the train, snake, dragon and elf all make an appearance. The auditorium’s transformation into a Quidditch stadium is a hoot and snitch is simply extraordinary!

The real coup of the show is that it’s thoroughly enjoyable at any age – it was as much of a treat for me as it was for my godson and his chum – and that’s very unusual and very clever.

So what’s next? My vote is for all 11 Doctor Who’s in 110 minutes!

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Creating a show that has an 11-year old and his godfather both in stitches is a real achievement in my book.

Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner (from a TV channel called CBBC, apparently) give us, well, potted versions of six pantos and a ‘mash-up’ of another, Aladdin, with Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. They have bags of energy, bucketloads of charm and more silliness than a coachload of 12-year olds. Every panto tradition gets a look in, there are quick changes a plenty, much audience participation and a brilliant ‘3D’ sequence that would have you rolling in the aisles if you weren’t on your feet.

The show owes something to groups that went before, like The Reduced Shakespeare Company, but that takes nothing away from the fact that it was huge fun. For me, you can keep the spectacle of Shrek and Matilda, this is pure entertainment that relies entirely on inventiveness, talent and imagination. A big seasonal treat for both the 11-year old and the oldie. Thoroughly recommended.

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