It’s not every day that you get to see the world’s most famous boy wizard knock out JK Rowling live on stage while being chased by an evil witch with more than a passing resemblance to the Prime Minister.
These are just two of the treats in store in Harry Poppers and the Deathly Swallows Part Two from Two Box Productions. The show was originally performed last Christmas as the Two Brewers panto and went on to win the Boyz Award for best Panto or Christmas show. The team have slimmed it down to an hour, made a few changes and are taking it to Edinburgh, but not before they performed a special preview at their Clapham home. The story of Harry Poppers (Thomas Young), Hermione Minger, (Simone Cornelious) and Ron Squeezme (Mark Wickens) is narrated by none other than JK Rowling herself, played with gusto and a bottle of gin by Ashley Racov. The villain if the piece is Lord Voldemort’s previously secret widow, Lady Therevil Voldemay, played as a deliciously over the top villain by Lawrence Bolton, her opening line is ‘I’m so evil I turned your precious Doctor into a woman’. The rest of the characters, Bellendix le Flange, Knobby the House Elf, Snape, Dumblewhore and the Dementors are brought to life by the fast changing and seriously funny Jax Braithwaite. We follow the trio as they search for the Deathly Swallows and along the way we get jokes about magic money trees, the fuss over the casting of a black actress to play Hermione and much more. The show may not have quite the level of special effects that the Cursed Child enjoys… they mainly consist of the cast saying ‘ooh magic’ and swirling their hands, but Harry Poppers has many genuine laugh out load moments and has real heart. This is clearly the work of fans of the original books and films and if JK Rowling goes to see it while it’s in Edinburgh then I suspect she’ll love it. I certainly did.