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Summary

23 Aug - 29 Sep 2019

Brisbane Powerhouse

PRESENTED BY TILTED WINDMILLS THEATRICALS IN ASSOCIATION WITH TEG LIVE

Step into the world of magical misfits with the smash-hit comedy play PUFFS or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic at Brisbane Powerhouse.

For seven years a certain boy wizard went to Wizard School. This, however, is not his story.

This is the story of the Puffs, a lovable group of misfits, who just happened to be there too.

 

14+

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Reviews

21 Sep 2019

If you have to ask what a Puff is then this show ain’t for you!

Even from the foyer of the Brisbane Powerhouse it was easy to determine most of those attending Puffs the Play.

It was necessarily limited to age, gender or even the errant Gryffindor scarf, there's just a vibe of people who would see an off-Broadway comedy spoof on Harry Potter.

Oops, am I allowed to say it's related?!

Puffs is for the fans!

Definitely not for the HP virgins or one to drag that one friend you've been trying to convince to read the series,…

Even from the foyer of the Brisbane Powerhouse it was easy to determine most of those attending Puffs the Play.

It was necessarily limited to age, gender or even the errant Gryffindor scarf, there's just a vibe of people who would see an off-Broadway comedy spoof on Harry Potter.

Oops, am I allowed to say it's related?!

Puffs is for the fans!

Definitely not for the HP virgins or one to drag that one friend you've been trying to convince to read the series, Puffs is a hoot of a play cramming seven books worth of material into about 100 minutes plus interval.

There are in-jokes and winks for the audience, some jokes just for the true believers and others that become hilariously laboured making them all the more funny.

There's tongue-in-cheek jesting about what they can and can't say before infringing on copyright and there's an adult sensibility to what was once meant for children.

Most of all Puffs is fun - the actors are having fun, the audience is having fun, surely even JK Rowling herself would be swept up in a play that is as much in love with the Harry Potter series as the most diehard fan!

One such diehard fan was right behind me guffawing so loudly it was hard to tell if I was laughing at what was happening on stage or responding to his sheer glee.

In any case, Puffs is a hoot - a highly entertaining, slightly nostalgic, clever piece for the stage that had me laughing out loud and yearning to delve back into a wonderful series of books.

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Emily Philip
veteran
21 Sep 2019

A story of three magical misfits, but not the ones you’re thinking of!

It is always going to be a special show when the performance begins before you enter the theatre.

As you make your way to your seats you are transported to a “certain” school, walking the corridors with sign-up sheets and notices scattered on the walls and announcements hailed over the loudspeaker.

As the show unfolded, we went on a journey through the “Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic” and came to know and love the Puffs;…

It is always going to be a special show when the performance begins before you enter the theatre.

As you make your way to your seats you are transported to a “certain” school, walking the corridors with sign-up sheets and notices scattered on the walls and announcements hailed over the loudspeaker.

As the show unfolded, we went on a journey through the “Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic” and came to know and love the Puffs; the leftovers from the sorting hat who only wanted to be your friend.

The amazing and talented cast had the audience in stitches with their comedic timing, physical presence and (not so) subtle references to that wizarding series that must not be named.

The comedy is interspersed with touching, emotional scenes as we get to know each of the characters and their fears and insecurities.

While this is truly a funny romp, there are also a couple of life truths we can take from the play and that always adds value to a performance.

Whilst I enjoyed the whole play, I found the second half to be more enjoyable as the actors’ timing and interaction with the audience seemed to be more natural and free-flowing.

Things got a bit raunchy and the language was a bit colourful but it was presented in a way which was hilarious to behold.

I highly recommend this play to all fans of a particular magical series as those not familiar with this series may not appreciate all of the “in” jokes and references.

Accio tickets and grab onto a portkey before this show disappears in a “puff” of smoke.

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Rhonda Fenton
veteran
21 Sep 2019

Puffs is great fun, even for those new to the wizarding world

From the walk in, there is no mistaking what you are in for.

The corridor was lined with old books and school posters.

You know the school.

Of course you do, everyone does.

Conveniently though if you don’t happen to know *that* particular school, all *that* well the Puffs still have plenty for you.

The cast enthusiastically takes the stage with meticulous comedic timing supported by some clever stage craft, a gorgeous, versatile set and a wry self-awareness that makes for a great big dose…

From the walk in, there is no mistaking what you are in for.

The corridor was lined with old books and school posters.

You know the school.

Of course you do, everyone does.

Conveniently though if you don’t happen to know *that* particular school, all *that* well the Puffs still have plenty for you.

The cast enthusiastically takes the stage with meticulous comedic timing supported by some clever stage craft, a gorgeous, versatile set and a wry self-awareness that makes for a great big dose of fun.

With its blend of physical humour, clever use of props and some great one-liners, those who aren’t deep in the wizarding world shouldn’t be threatened by the Puffs, they just want to be your friend.

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Siegfried Clarke
veteran
21 Sep 2019

Definitely one for the fans

I really had no clue what to expect, the website and the brochure didn’t really give much away.

All I knew was that it had something to do with Harry Potter (but they couldn’t say Harry Potter).

About 5 minutes in I knew I was going to enjoy it.

Puffs had me laughing right from the start, it wasn’t a show I had to ease into.

The foreshadowing and references to Harry Potter were the best parts; if you haven’t seen the movies -…

I really had no clue what to expect, the website and the brochure didn’t really give much away.

All I knew was that it had something to do with Harry Potter (but they couldn’t say Harry Potter).

About 5 minutes in I knew I was going to enjoy it.

Puffs had me laughing right from the start, it wasn’t a show I had to ease into.

The foreshadowing and references to Harry Potter were the best parts; if you haven’t seen the movies - or read the books - this is not a show you should see.

Some of the funniest parts are only funny if you know the context.

The show said it was recommended for 14+ and I definitely agree.

There’s a lot of adult content and raunchy jokes, as well as swearing.

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Abby Whitby (age 13)
veteran
21 Sep 2019

Funny, inventive, and surprisingly touching … a loving ode to a series that captivated the world

It’s eleven-year-old Wayne’s first year at a certain school of magic, and he’s about to find out that he’s a long way from rural Queensland.

Not brave enough, smart enough, or evil enough, he finds himself sorted into the Puffs, where it seems like failure is the norm - except in Herbology, of course!

But Wayne is certain he’s destined for greatness, that he’s someone special, that he’s a sort of… chosen one.

Unfortunately for him, there’s another boy starting school this year.

A…

It’s eleven-year-old Wayne’s first year at a certain school of magic, and he’s about to find out that he’s a long way from rural Queensland.

Not brave enough, smart enough, or evil enough, he finds himself sorted into the Puffs, where it seems like failure is the norm - except in Herbology, of course!

But Wayne is certain he’s destined for greatness, that he’s someone special, that he’s a sort of… chosen one.

Unfortunately for him, there’s another boy starting school this year.

A boy with glasses and a scar.

It looks like the school year is going to get quite interesting - for everyone except the Puffs, that is.

Puffs The Play is, from start to surprisingly heartfelt finish, an absolute joy.

Both celebrating and poking plenty of fun at that most famous of book and movie franchises, it’s clever, fast-paced, and genuinely very funny.

Led by a talented cast - many playing a plethora of roles - it’s a wonderful couple of hours, especially when spent in the company of a theatre filled with fellow Potterheads.

Ensemble standouts included Annabelle Tudor and Matt Whitty, who took turns as both students and teachers - watch out in particular for Whitty’s performance as a certain Potions master - while Daniel Cosgrove’s J. Finch will have you humming his theme tune all the way home from the theatre.

Likely a little too on the nose for those unfamiliar with the source material, Puffs The Play is nonetheless an outstanding piece of theatre.

Inventive, engaging, and, most importantly of all, driven by a genuine love of the Harry Potter universe, it’s a must-see for fans.

Catch it before the Brisbane Powerhouse season ends this coming weekend, otherwise You-Know-Who and his Death… Buddies (*sigh*) might come knocking…

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Jodie Sloan
veteran
21 Sep 2019

A proper fun night out

Puffs is a lovingly put together production that showcases innovative staging and larger-than-life character acting wrapped up in a charming package of Harry Potter nostalgia.

If you’re a Potter-Nut, there are references, in-jokes and Easter eggs galore for you to revel in, but if you never really got on board the Hogwarts Express then don’t be afraid to make Puffs your first journey: there’s plenty of material that doesn’t rely on references to keep you entertained.

And with consistently high JPM (jokes…

Puffs is a lovingly put together production that showcases innovative staging and larger-than-life character acting wrapped up in a charming package of Harry Potter nostalgia.

If you’re a Potter-Nut, there are references, in-jokes and Easter eggs galore for you to revel in, but if you never really got on board the Hogwarts Express then don’t be afraid to make Puffs your first journey: there’s plenty of material that doesn’t rely on references to keep you entertained.

And with consistently high JPM (jokes per minute) you’re never too far from a good belly laugh.

The cast effortlessly switch roles and there’s even a cleverly concealed moment of improv, so there’s plenty of acting chops on display.

Throw in some savvy stagecraft which makes great use of the minimal, 4-door set and some witty, self-aware prop comedy, and you’ve got yourself a wholesome night at the theatre that will leave you with some proper warm fuzzies.

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Nicola Murray
veteran
21 Sep 2019

A laugh-a-minute

If you love or hate Harry Potter - you are going to have the time of your life.

This is a magical show, the cast is amazing and the work that they have done to put this show together is truly tremendous.

My partner, who is unsure about the theatre, said that this is the best show that he has ever seen!

The script literally makes you laugh out loud for the whole session.

The humour was intelligent and quick.

It is so good that…

If you love or hate Harry Potter - you are going to have the time of your life.

This is a magical show, the cast is amazing and the work that they have done to put this show together is truly tremendous.

My partner, who is unsure about the theatre, said that this is the best show that he has ever seen!

The script literally makes you laugh out loud for the whole session.

The humour was intelligent and quick.

It is so good that I have recommended it to my family and friends and would watch again.

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Simone Healy
veteran
21 Sep 2019

Can’t believe this made it off the editing floor

The play is based upon such a strong storyline but fails to even come close to the mark.

Firstly surprised it does not breach multiple copyright laws.

The script comes across as being written on a drunken night out but unfortunately wasn't forgotten about the following morning.

It was rather disturbing to see characters who are 11 years old to be portrayed by middle-aged actors.

With all of the material available they chose to go with the easy and obvious jokes.

To say I was…

The play is based upon such a strong storyline but fails to even come close to the mark.

Firstly surprised it does not breach multiple copyright laws.

The script comes across as being written on a drunken night out but unfortunately wasn't forgotten about the following morning.

It was rather disturbing to see characters who are 11 years old to be portrayed by middle-aged actors.

With all of the material available they chose to go with the easy and obvious jokes.

To say I was disappointed is an understatement.

Read more
Kate Clark
virgin
21 Sep 2019

Funny and delightful but definitely one for the fans

There was no mistaking the Harry Potter theme of this production, with entrance and auditorium decked out in cobwebs and hessian, dusty bookshelves and eerie swirling mist.

In retrospect, some of this effort could have been better employed in more distinct costuming.

As a play written most specifically for “Potter heads”, even with knowledge of the characters, the multiple roles taken on by cast members required more definitive visual cues most specifically through costume change.

The unclear transformations made for confusing scenarios, as…

There was no mistaking the Harry Potter theme of this production, with entrance and auditorium decked out in cobwebs and hessian, dusty bookshelves and eerie swirling mist.

In retrospect, some of this effort could have been better employed in more distinct costuming.

As a play written most specifically for “Potter heads”, even with knowledge of the characters, the multiple roles taken on by cast members required more definitive visual cues most specifically through costume change.

The unclear transformations made for confusing scenarios, as attested to by the limited audience response, where only the true HP fanatics actually got the gist.

There were standout performances, however, by the very talented Annabelle Taylor (Hannah and others) who really could transform across characters, as if by magic.

Matt Whitty (Ernie and others) also brought great energy to the performance.

The unmistakable rendition of both Dobby and Alastor Moody were highlights.

The real delight in this performance was the unmistakable cohesion of the troupe.

Their comedic timing was exceptional, so in tune with each other, and delivering a romping run through of seven tumultuous years for any adolescent, let alone magical ones.

For anyone not familiar with the Harry Potter series, the play would be somewhat confusing, but still entertaining from a more peripheral aspect.

This is one for those who grew up on a diet of wizards and wands, anxiously awaiting the next book release, watching and rewatching the films, and ultimately perhaps even indulging in a little cosplay.

It's all about the costumes.

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Geraldine O'Flynn
veteran
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