Western Suburbs Weekly - - Weeklylife - Tanya MacNaughton

JAMES Percy al­ways knew he wanted to be an ac­tor and the role of Harry Pot­ter was at the top of his list.

“I grew up with the books, so when the films came out I thought play­ing Harry must be the best job in the world,” the 28-year-old English­man said.

“Lit­tle did I know I'd just have to wait un­til I was a full­grown adult to play him.”

Percy joined the two-man cast of Pot­ted Pot­ter along­side Ben­jamin Strat­ton in early 2013, the show tak­ing on the chal­lenge of con­dens­ing all seven Harry Pot­ter books by J.K. Rowl­ing into a 70-minute pro­duc­tion.

“There’s a lot of im­prov in the show and the au­di­ence get very in­volved, so any­thing could hap­pen,” Percy said.

“My back­ground is very com­edy-heavy, par­tic­u­larly im­pro­vised com­edy, so when I dis­cov­ered how much free­dom we had to just play and cre­ate, it re­ally be­came such a dream.

“Luck­ily I get the job of play­ing Harry and watch Ben fran­ti­cally run around try­ing to play all the other char­ac­ters, while I laugh at his sweaty face through the safety of Harry’s glasses.”

Cre­ated in 2005 by Daniel Clark­son and Jefferson Turner, Pot­ted Pot­ter has re­ceived ac­claim wher­ever the show has run, from sea­sons in Ed­in­burgh and London’s West End to off-Broad­way.

“We can't wait to tour Aus­tralia,” the Portsmouth-based ac­tor said.

“Nei­ther of us has been to that side of the world be­fore, so we’ll be like wide-eyed tourists with maps and nov­elty hats.”

Percy said he loved the show’s abil­ity to en­ter­tain ev­ery­one from the big­gest Pot­ter­head to those who have not read a sin­gle page.

“At the heart of it, the show is a clas­sic com­edy dou­ble act, and we take huge in­spi­ra­tion from Lau­rel and Hardy and More­cambe and Wise,” he said.

“It's just two guys hav­ing too much fun re­ally. As long as you know that Harry was a boy wizard, you'll be fine.”

Com­mu­nity News­pa­per Group has five dou­ble passes to give away to Pot­ted Pot­ter. En­try at in my com­mu­nity.com.au be­fore Septem­ber 29.

James Percy and Ben­jamin Strat­ton con­dense all seven Harry Pot­ter books into the 70-minute pro­duc­tion in Pot­ted Pot­ter.

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