This isn’t a sponsored post.
BrumHour saw Voldemort and the Teenage Hogwarts Musical Parody at arrangement with The Old Joint Stock.
By Eleanor Lawson twitter.com/Elle_Lawson
Voldemort and the Teenage Hogwarts Musical Parody
at The Old Joint Stock
In 1997, a generation of children embarked on a journey with Harry Potter that would stay with them forever. And now, those children are millennials and want to see their childhood friends snogging snakes and making jokes about gluten. Welcome to 2020 fandom: it’s Voldemort and the Teenage Hogwarts Musical Parody.
Everybody’s favourite villain is a teenage loner still going by the name of Tom Riddle, obsessed with violence and his snake Jonathan (who hopefully isn’t a woman in the form of a reptile – which Tom recognizes is problematic). And he’s dating a Hufflepuff. Tom loves Muffin, who values loyalty and snacks above all else, contrary to the interests of the man destined to be the Dark Lord.
The show revolves around our star-crossed lovers, but there are cameos from every much-loved franchise member: Dumbledore – an exasperated lesbian, friendship-deprived Myrtle, motorbike-obsessed loner Hagrid, and a perfectly withering Snape. Every character, song, and line is perfectly crafted to transpose your nostalgia into a filthy new arena of humour. Do not, I repeat, do not, bring your family members.
As a satire, the show zones in on everything you know and love about the series and blows it into ridiculous proportions. Just like a Buzzfeed quiz called something like “What Harry Potter House are you?”, each character is a hilarious stereotype of the values they are supposed to uphold, from cold-blooded sociopaths to introverted nerds. It’s the Hufflepuff stereotype that evokes the most laughs, with each member’s driving force being food – preferably wheat-based. I left the theatre with a desperate craving for banana bread.
A parody has to match the scale of its jokes with its performances, and each actor was stellar. There’s no room in satire for nuance – every facial expression and vocal intonation has to be ramped up to eleven. The show requires high energy so it’s no wonder it’s a one hour show as it must be exhausting. However, the performance never flags and each actor exudes energy, such as the simpering Zooey Deschanel-esque heroine, or the sultry anti-heroine who fawns over Dumbledore. Every single cameo is perfect, and no member of the cast can be singled out when everyone has such astonishing talent.
There’s an impressive array of musical genres that blends effortlessly into the characterization and tone of the play: Dumbledore performing a roast of his students in flawless rap is a particular highlight, but there are nods to love ballads, Electropop, and rousing declarations like Seasons of Love or One Day More. The show knows its audience, and some of the biggest laughs came from jokes about musical theatre.
I know when I’ve loved a production when I come to write my review and all I want to do is list memorable moments … I’ve definitely had to restrain myself so as not to completely ruin the whole show. The hour fled by, the audience’s laughter was deafening, and I smiled so much I left with my cheeks aching. It’s the perfect example of a parody: finding the inherent ridiculousness in its source material while radiating love for it. Don’t miss it.
Voldemort and the Teenage Hogwarts Musical Parody is at The Old Joint Stock until Sunday 1st March. Book tickets here: oldjointstock.co.uk/whats-on/voldemort
This isn’t a sponsored post.
Eleanor Lawson presents and produces Interval Theatre Tuesdays at 3pm on Brum Radio.