NOW this was a top class, five star evening.

Central Studio was absolutely packed to the gills for the visit of Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner, aka Dan and Jeff, the comedy double act who came up with the idea for Potted Potter and have been successfully touring it around the country ever since.

It was a little bit like the Reduced Shakespeare Company in the sense that the duo’s gimmick is to present all seven Harry Potter books in 75 minutes. And “present” us with some of the key characters and plot points of the novels they did, brilliantly written into a two-man bantering session which posited Dan’s straight man, wanting to do it all relatively sensibly, against crazy Jeff, who blew their 'budget’ on his dragon prop. We waited with bated breath to see if it would cut the mustard.

It was fantastic to see so many children and their parents having such a brilliant time together for this show, which absolutely brought the house down. It had it all – silly jokes, physical comedy (soaking each other and a bit of the audience, too!), a disco ball, hilarious wigs and a total corker of a song to bring it all to a storming conclusion. Harry and Voldemort performed a stonking number about their rivalry to the tune of I Will Survive, which was funny, clever and just fantastic.

There was also some ingenious audience participation, where we, the audience, were split into two halves and pitted against each for a game of Quidditch, and where two young Basingstoke residents absolutely came into their own, helping Dan and Jeff to organise the game. One young man in particular clearly has a stage career ahead of him, so enthusiastically did he throw himself into everything they asked of him!

My companion on the night had no knowledge of the Potter universe, having never read the books or watched the films (I know – where has he been?!), and even he pronounced it brilliant. So there you have it – Potted Potter’s so good, you don’t even have to be a Potter fan to love it! For full details on where you can see the show next, log on to