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How Harry Potter reignited my love of the theatre... and a (now growing) list

DSC00018 As the final Harry Potter film is out on Friday, thought it was timely to write about how close the film and theatre are linked in my affections.

My student days in Liverpool were full of theatre trips. You could get a ticket for the Everyman or the Playhouse for £2-3 but when I came to London to look for a job, theatre was sacrificed under extreme financial pressures. And for many years it was virtually a lost love, until in 2007 that is.

I can't remember the particulars behind my realisation that I could afford to go to theatre again occasionally but once I'd decided, I was faced with a dizzying array of plays to choose from and no experience of performers, directors or indeed theatres with which to inform my decision.

London theatre is mind-boggling in its diversity and offer if you are coming at it cold (and is still) but I decided on Equus because story sounded interesting, as I'd studied a bit of child psychology at Uni, and I was a Harry Potter fan. *Whispers* And I didn't think Daniel Radcliffe would be any good, so was curious.

No one believes me but I didn't find out about the nudity until after I'd bought the ticket. Anyway to cut a long story short it blew me away. I came out of the theatre feeling truly alive. My theatre love reignited, I immediately booked to see it again at the end of the run.

My next foray into theatre was Leaves of Glass a couple of months later which starred one Mr Benjamin Whishaw who'd wowed me in the film Perfume. And the rest on that score, as they say, is history.

But back to Potter, since Equus I've gathered rather a fine collection, I believe anyway, of stage performances by the films' cast. Just goes to show the calibre of acting talent:

(Since posting, fellow theatre blogger Weez has posted her own list which has thrown up some ommissions from my list which I've now added at the bottom)

1. Harry Potter in Equus (Daniel Radcliffe)

2. Petunia Dursley in London Assurance, Mother Courage and All Her Children, John Gabriel Borkman (Fiona Shaw)

3. Vernon Dursley in Equus and the Habit of Art (Richard Griffiths)

4. Dudley Dursley in Mother Courage and All Her Children and Women Beware Women (Harry Melling)

5. Professor Snape in John Gabriel Borkman (Alan Rickman)

6. Madame Hooch in The Rose Tattoo and All My Sons plus Cherry Orchard very soon (Zoe Wanamaker)

7. Professor Quirrell in Speaking in Tongues (Ian Hart)

8. Mr Filch in Moonlight (David Bradley)

9. Voldemort in God of Carnage and Oedipus (Ralph Fiennes)

10. Barty Crouch Jnr in Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing (David Tennant)

11. Narcissa Malfoy in The Late Middle Classes (Helen McCrory)

12. Mary Cattemole in Life is a Dream (Kate Fleetwood)

13. Dolores Umbridge in A Delicate Balance (Imelda Staunton)

14. Xenophilius Lovegood in Hamlet, way back when I was a student so doesn't strictly count (Rhys Ifans)

15. Stan Shunpike in Our Class (Lee Ingleby)

16. Rita Skeeter in a rehearsed reading of Ice Cream (Miranda Richardson)


17. Myron Wagtail in, er, concert (Jarvis Cocker)

Late entry thanks to Weez:

18. Reg Cattemole in Clybourne Park (Steffan Rhodri)

19. Gilderoy Lockhart in Ivanov (Kenneth Brannagh)

20. Dean Thomas in Henry V (Alfred Enoch)

21. Kingsley Shacklebolt in Frankenstein (George Harris)

22. Barty Crouch Snr in Dealer's Choice and The Seagull (Roger Lloyd-Pack)

23. Mafalda Hopkirk in Clybourne Park (Sophie Thompson)

24. Pius Thickness in Twelfth Night (Guy Henry)

25. Mrs Granger in Othello (Michelle Fairley)

26. Madame Maxime in The Habit of Art (Frances de la Tour)

And I haven't seen her yet but will be next month but 27. Madame Pomfrey in Richard III (Gemma Jones).

Even newer additions:

28. Lily Potter in Seranading Louie (Geraldine Somerville)

29. Mrs Figg in Tell Them That I Am Young And Beautiful (Kathryn Hunter)

30. Young James Potter in Shivered (Robbie Jarvis)

31. Aberforth Dumbledore in Juno and the Paycock (Ciaran Hinds)

32. Alecto Carrow in One Man Two Guvnors (Suzie Toase)

33. Shrunken Head in A Comedy of Errors (Lenny Henry)

@TRPW has joined in the fun and has an impressive 69, yes 69, Harry Potter cast stage spots. But he has been going to the theatre a lot longer than I have. You can see his list here and yep, I've already spotted one I need to add to my own list...

Even newer addition (Oct 2012) finally got the headmaster:

34. Dumbledore in All That Fall (Michael Gambon)

June 2013

35. Mr Mason the business man Vernon Dudley is trying to impress in The Night Alive (Jim Norton)

36. Roger Davies (student at Hogwarts) in Posh (Henry Lloyd-Hughes)

37. Mafalda Hopkirk in The Priory (Jessica Hynes)

38. Eldred Worple in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (Paul Ritter)

39. Ginnie Weasley in The Moment of Truth (Bonnie Wright)

40. Ron Weasley in Mojo (Rupert Grint)

41. Leanne in The Same Deep Water As Me (Isabella Laughland)

42. James Potter in The Herd (Adrian Rawlins)