Where better to perform a Harry Potter parody show than Edinburgh?
This is a show for people who love Harry Potter references and performers who break the fourth wall.
Lukas Kirkby and Tom Lawrinson are back at the Fringe for their fourth year in a row with Pottervision. With a mix of sketch routine, audience interaction and references to Hagrid’s bum, the duo chop Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone into 60 minutes of Fringe fun.
The guys set up their main running joke by explaining that there are usually four actors and way better costumes, but for now they’ll have to make do with some pretty basic supplies.
Kirkby runs back and forth transforming into all the Dursleys while Lawrinson stands perfectly still, having only agreed to play Harry. Lawrinson’s proud smile every time he says one line has the audience charmed, but after a while it really feels like Kirkby is doing a one man show. His Scottish accent for McGonagall is surprisingly impressive and his Snape impersonation is undeniably the highlight of the show.
The use of audience members for certain scenes (yes, you might get a chance to be sorted!) is very skillful. In particular, the owl post stage direction is goofy and playful, with Lawrinson explaining to the audience that years of performing have taught them to leave the crowd wanting more. The bird-style regurgitation scenes were less tasteful (literally) and I still don’t know how they got anyone to volunteer to participate.
The secret star of the show just might be the wigs! Aunt Petunia and Snape share a startling resemblance, Hagrid is a mash-up of Hermione and Dumbledore, and the headmaster himself might remind you of Cousin It. Overall, the group makes good use of props — random sticks for wands, party poppers for magic, and a horrifying homemade sorting hat that will haunt my dreams. There are more 9/11 terrorist references than you might expect, but they surprisingly get some of the biggest laughs.
While this is a guaranteed enjoyable Fringe show, it’s not necessarily super satisfying for true Potterheads. With all the time spent referencing other films, complaining about the missing troupe members and props and disagreeing over who gets to play Harry, they lose out on a lot of the storyline and more relevant gags.
Lawrinson and Kirkby are very likeable performers with great comedic timing and an ability to connect with the audience that other companies can only dream of. Although Lawrinson pretty much summed up Pottervision’s sketch comedy style when he said, “Some of these scenes don’t have endings or points”, there’s no doubt that they are a very talented duo. This is a show for people who love Harry Potter references and performers who break the fourth wall.