Review - Spontaneous Potter, Theatre Royal Wakefield

Spontaneous Players' take on Harry Potter will delight fans

By Andrew Marsh
Monday, 17th January 2022, 8:05 am
Spontaneous Players' brought their improv show Spontaneous Potter to Wakefield.
Spontaneous Players' brought their improv show Spontaneous Potter to Wakefield.

Improvised comedy troupe Spontaneous Players brought their 2018 Edinburgh Fringe show Spontaneous Potter to Theatre Royal Wakefield on Friday.

From the outset, the four-piece hit the stage showing sugar-high levels of energy and enthusiasm with troupe member Will Naameh assuming the role of host.

He introduced his fellow improv afficionados (Paul Connolly, Pippa Evans and Stu Murphy) and explained how the show will work for those not used to seeing a live Improv show.

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The show is structured in the form of some shorter stand-alone scenes in the first half that then make way for a long-form piece that provides the body of the second half.

The catalyst for each scene is an audience suggestion; ‘Harry Potter and…’ tonight’s performance took in a short-form scene ‘Harry Potter & the Rhubarb Triangle’ and the second- half showstopper ‘Harry Potter and the Special Sock’.

All performers get their time to shine during the show with the early admission that Stu Murphy hasn’t seen any of the Harry Potter series generating a series of jokes throughout. There’s more than a hint of Matt Berry about Murphy who generates big laughs with his unfamiliarity to certain Potter reference points.

It’s a team effort though with Pippa shining as a very, very Brummy Mrs Weasley and Will Naameh trying admirably to match the accent as Mr Weasley in a scene that culminates with the couple playing a game of chess so intense it rivals anything you might see in Netflix drama ‘The Queen’s Gambit’.

Paul Connolly expertly holds a lot of the scenes together, at one point demonstrating WWE wrestler strength in executing as number of press ups with Naameh on his back.

Why? I can’t quite remember but that’s the beauty of witnessing a show being created in front of your eyes…it sweeps you along regardless of whether you know exactly what you’re watching.

The performers are rounded out by pianist Jenny Laahs whose playing underpins the whole show and particularly sparkles when the improvisers occasionally launch into song.

Perhaps it’s a show slightly better suited to a more intimate Festival Fringe venue but that’s a minor note and Spontaneous Potter is a show that should delight members of Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin alike while even improv muggles should find something to enjoy.