JK Rowling likes a sequel or two, and so do South Yorkshire cheeky chappies The Chuckle Brothers with their Harry Potter spoofs.
“We did our first Barry Potty show about seven years ago: Barry Potty And His Smarter Brother Paul – or at least he thinks he is,” says Barry. “We got a brilliant reaction and people kept saying ‘when are going to do it again?’ – and now we are!”
Barry and Paul are in York on Sunday afternoon, performing Barry Potty And His Full Blood Brother Paul in The Ghostly Shadows at their regular haunt of the Grand Opera House.
“Last time we had a flying car, with this big guy ‘holding up’ a Robin Reliant with me inside!” says Barry. “This time we’ve got more magic; we’ve got Safia in the show with us, who do magic tricks with us. They’ve been with us for five or six years, maybe more, and it’s like a theatre rep company. We come up with the ideas for the illusions, they suggest things as well, and when we do them on stage, not even we know how they’re done!”
The Chuckle Brothers do not have to seek permission from J K Rowling for their Potty spoofs for three year olds to 103 year olds. “We change it so that it’s not too similar, just nearly spot on but just sufficiently different,” says Barry.
In the Chuckle show, Barry Potty and Paul arrive accidentally at Pigsnorts School of Magic after buying a second-hand sat-nav at a car boot sale. There, they encounter the evil Lord Fonterall and discover his plot to take over the school, but will Lord Fonterall prevail or can the Chuckle Brothers spoil his wicked plan?
“What happens is that the old headmaster has become the evil one who wants to re-take control of the school and it’s up to us to stop him,” says Barry. “There’s lots of audience participation – we have spiders coming down, only small ones, but that’s bad enough – and we’ll do a cookery scene with water.”
Barry and Paul create their next show when travelling from town to town on the coach; Barry came up with the 12 Days Of Christmas show, Paul did the initial writing for the new show, his brother writing the second half.
“We think we’re going to do another Pirates Of The River Rother, as the next Pirates Of The Caribbean movie is coming out next year, but it won’t be River Rother this time; it’ll be the River Don!”
The BBC’s move to Manchester has led to a lull in recording Chuckle Brothers shows at present. “We might possibly be doing a Christmas special but with the BBC’s children shows moving north, they haven’t got a budget yet, but they do still want to do another series for next year,” says Barry.
“And of course with it being in Manchester, and us living in South Yorkshire, it’ll be easier for us to record there with all the locations nearby.
“Actually, we started our TV shows there: we did the first two years of Chucklevision from there.”
The Chuckle Brothers present Barry Potty And His Full Blood Brother Paul in The Ghostly Shadows, Grand Opera House, York, Sunday, 2.30pm. Tickets update: selling fast but still available on 0844 847 2322. Also playing Hull New Theatre, April 12, 4.15pm and 7pm; 01482 226655.