Spirited away to the wonderful world of Oz

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City at the Harquail Theatre on Saturday.

No matter your age, chances are good that characters such as Dorothy, Toto, and the Wicked Witch of the West, will ring a bell.

On Saturday at the Harquail Theatre, you can reacquaint yourself with these old friends through performances by the cast from Quinntessential Movement.

The dance and fitness studio will be presenting a pole and aerial theatre production of ‘The Wizard of Oz’. It is a showcase featuring students from the company, with performers from the kid, youth and adult programmes.

This will be the familiar story told in a way you’ve never experienced before, incorporating aerial equipment and dance in order to add impressive visuals.

Worth the wait
The studio’s first showcase, ‘Wonderland’, based on the tales from ‘Alice in Wonderland’, was sold out in April 2019. Based on the success of that production, the ‘Oz’ venture was actually planned for 2020 but, of course, COVID got in the way.

Quinn McCrimmon, owner and head instructor at Quinntessential Movement, had to postpone a full year before bringing the completed product to the stage.

Aerial elements are a big part of the production.

“Rehearsals for ‘The Wizard of Oz’ performance actually started in January of 2020,” she said. “We were two weeks out from showtime when the island went into lockdown, so we had to cancel. We worked so hard towards this student showcase that we just couldn’t let it go, so with uncertainty still in the air, we decided to resume rehearsals in January of this year with hopes of making it to April without any issues.”

There were some cast casualties, due to the unavoidable postponement.

“Sadly, we lost a few performers who left the island,” McCrimmon admitted, but she added that those who have remained have had great fun bringing back the dances and relearning all the parts.

“Our characters have been working hard to learn their lines and our Munchkins are really excited to hit the stage! We love to showcase all levels and skills – as well as ages – at our studio, and all are represented here.”

About Oz
The famous story began as a book, titled ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ by L. Frank Baum, published in 1900. It was later made into a blockbuster film that hit screens in 1939. It starred Judy Garland in the lead role of Dorothy, with a tornado spiriting her and her dog Toto away to the land of Oz. There, she meets the Munchkins, the Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and other colourful residents, while making her way to find the Wizard via the Yellow Brick Road.

Noted for its use of Technicolor and the Academy Award-winning song, ‘Over the Rainbow’, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ features on numerous lists of what critics consider to be the greatest movies of all time.

Show information
Quinntessential Movement’s production of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ takes place at the Harquail Theatre on Saturday, 10 April. The 7pm evening performance is sold out. Tickets for the 1pm matinee are $35 and can be bought at www.Qmovement.dance (under the ‘Pricing and Packages’ tab).

McCrimmon can’t wait to reveal what has been over a year in the making. “From solos, duets, small group dances and large group dances, to main characters acting and carrying the storyline, we look forward to entertaining you along the yellow brick road,” she said.

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