Review: Spontaneous Potter, Cirencester Barn Theatre

The Spontaneous Players' Spontaneous Potter

The Spontaneous Players' Spontaneous Potter - Credit: Archant

“There’s plenty of vulgarity, toilet humour, ridiculousness, spot-on impressions, quick wit, and for the Harry Potter nerds like me, lots of in-jokes.” Liz Hartland reviews the Spontaneous Players’ Spontaneous Potter at the Barn Theatre in Cirencester

I’ll happily admit that I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. Not one of those crazy types that has robes hanging in their wardrobe and can recite obscure facts at the drop of a hat but I do enjoy re-reading the books and watching film re-runs for the umpteenth time.

So when I heard the Spontaneous Players were back at Cirencester’s Barn Theatre for their highly acclaimed Spontaneous Potter show, I seized the chance to book tickets and go along.

The show, which sold out for its first visit to the Barn Theatre in September 2018, is two hours of completely improvised comedy, based on an audience suggested fan fiction title. So not only are the audience unaware of what’s coming up next but the Spontaneous Players are too. Quick to think on their feet, the group come up with a whole new story in the Harry Potter world, intertwining all the things we love, and poke fun at, in J.K. Rowling’s seven stories.

In this particular show, the story required each member of the Spontaneous Players on stage, Will Naameh, Sam Irving, Mara Joy and Paul Connolly, to adopt a number of different roles and credit goes to each improviser for their fantastically funny portrayals of each character. With a vast knowledge of the Wizarding World, the audience got to see an overly sassy Hermione, an appropriately creepy Snape, a West Country sounding Hagrid and a slightly camp Voldermort (I loved this – he does seem camp, right?), among many others. Each scene was beautifully accompanied by the talented Jenny Laahs on keyboard.

During the entirety of the play, the audience were in stitches. Whether you’re a Harry Potter fan or not (I mean, it does help if you are), there really is something to appeal to everyone. There’s plenty of vulgarity, toilet humour, ridiculousness, spot-on impressions, quick wit, and for the Harry Potter nerds like me, lots of in-jokes. With jokes flying around everywhere, at times, the troupe did break into fits of laughter on stage which really brought home that this is all made up on the spot. Naturally, a few jokes fall flat, but another cast member was always there to follow with a witty jibe, only adding to the hilarity.

It’s clear to see the Spontaneous Players are incredibly passionate about what they do, and they want to bring a great show to their audiences. Lucky for me, and those who enjoyed the show just as much, each time is different and you can experience the magic (sorry) of the comedy improvising troupe time and time again.

The Spontaneous Players are based in Edinburgh and you can catch Spontaneous Potter on every other Thursday night (alternating with Spontaneous Sherlock) at Monkey Barrel Comedy, Edinburgh. They’ll also be performing at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival on August 18 and 26. Visit the Spontaneous Players website to see dates for their UK tour.

Click here to see a full list of upcoming shows at The Barn Theatre, Cirencester.