It’s that time of year again. Summer is here, the birds are singing in the trees, the sun is shining in the sky and all of us entertainers, actors, writers, comics, directors and producers are packing our bags to head up to our summer home from home - Edinburgh!

As I travelled up on Saturday it was a scene reminiscent of March of the Penguins! Performers slowly trundling down the train platform laden with bags filled to the brim with props and set. All that was missing was the dulcet tones of Morgan Freeman as we all walked in single file ready to board the train!

For me this marks the start of a very exciting yet scary Edinburgh Festival. 2011 will be the 5 year anniversary of our first ever show Potted Potter, tie in with this the fact that the 8th and final Harry Potter film has just been released and our Producer James ‘Not just a pretty face’ Seabright thought it would be a nice idea to bring it back for one final swan song.

This was an idea he put to us while sipping champagne at the Olivier Awards’ after party, and maybe it was the bubbles flowing to my head, maybe it was the fact that I was still relishing in the achievement of tying my own bow tie, but I quickly answered “Yes!” - almost not catching his mutterings “And I thought we could do it in the Pleasance Grand”.

It wasn’t until the next morning that I really processed this information. “The Pleasance Grand? Isn’t that the 700 seater where they put the comics who have appeared on Mock the Week? Ha! He can’t have meant that!” Turns out he did!

Don’t get me wrong, over the years I’ve found myself looking on the show like a doting father and I couldn’t be more proud to bring Potted Potter back, and in to such a prestigious venue.  But yet, like any father, I worry. Will it be OK in such a large space? Will anyone still come and see it? What if the other shows steal its dinner money? How on earth will a 700 players game of Quidditch look? Ok that last one hasn’t worried me once, it’ll look awesome! That’s a given.


So yes, this year’s Edinburgh is definitely filled with excitement and fear. But do you know what? I like the fear; the butterflies that seem to have taken residence in my stomach are currently welcome. Because with the fear comes the adrenaline, the energy, the thrill that no white-knuckle ride on this earth can compete with! And I know that as soon as the music of our finale song ends on our first preview today and the sound of applause (I hope!) starts, I will be filled with a sense of pride like never before! Our little show that started life in a small room in Zoo Southside with 75 people is now all grown up!


Potted Potter

Pleasance Grand

3-16 August

16:00 (70 min)