Interview: Dan Clarkson and Jeff Turner for Potted Potter

Who are your biggest comedic influences?
Dan Clarkson: We are both huge Monty Python fans and love their surreal style and unique approach. Growing up watching Saturday Night Live re-runs also helped push our love for spontaneous improvisation.
How difficult was research on the Harry Potter series?
DC: Not very. To be honest, when you sit down with a tub of popcorn and butterbeer to watch the movies (and get to say it’s for work), life becomes pretty good!
What were the biggest challenges putting together the show?
DC: Getting it down to seventy minutes. The first draft ran closer to seven hours. We try to remain loyal to the books, but often do find ourselves replacing 500 pages of plot with a silly hat and funny voice.
Have you ever had a Harry Potter fan take the show badly?
Jeff Turner: Not that we know of. However, if we ever get anything wrong on stage—due to a slip of the tongue or a mental block—they are not shy to correct us. Loudly!
How do you keep the performance from getting old?
JT: We constantly surprise each other. Dan tries to make me laugh on stage. The audience loves it! Also, a fair proportion of the show is improvised. That forces each version to be different.
Potted Potter is on September 4-16 at DBS Arts Centre home of the Singapore Repertory Theatre.