Seven Harry Potter books in just 70 minutes

By Dannis Valera

70 minutes, seven Harry Potter books. This is the tagline of Potted Potter, a parody of the Harry Potter series by former BBC TV hosts Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner.

The parody duo first met in 2005 when Clarkson needed a partner to do a show for the midnight launch of the sixth book—the first five books in five minutes. He found Turner as he was performing on the streets of London.

“That’s the kind of style I want,” said Clarkson when talking about meeting Turner. “I talked to him afterwards and took him away from the streets”

The two planned a 20-minute show for about 50 to 60 people, but had a big surprise.

“The first time we did it at 11 p.m. there were just about 1000 people,” recalled Turner. “Instead of 20 minutes it took 35 minutes.”

After encouragement from Clarkson’s father, the pair took their idea of the 7 books to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2006 and sold out every show.

But, how do they condense the series’ over 4000 pages into just 70 minutes?

Clarkson described the process as a battle, saying, “we were literally fighting each other at times dressed as wizards just to find out what works, what we thought was funny.”

When it comes down to it, it always comes down to the fun of performing for the duo.

“I think everyday we’re just waiting for someone to realize it’s just two friends messing around,” laughed Clarkson.