Oli Weatherly

Now Is The Time To See “Stick or Wizard?”

“Stick or Wizard?”, featuring Oli Weatherly (photo by Emily Valentine)

“Stick or Wizard?” is a simple, irreverant Fringe experience that not only tells its audience there is a little Wizard in each and every one of us – but puts it on display for all to see and enjoy.

The show is an interactive ‘choose your own adventure’ exploration of the magic that can be found all around us when we slow down to look for it. Patience is a virtue and as our Wizard teacher, Oli Weatherly carefully takes his time to establish a playful connection with his audience that is the key ingredient in this show’s success or failure. An audience that is equally patient in tuning into the same wavelength as the artist, such as this was, is in for a treat. There is no doubt that having an eager young child amongst us for this performance helped everyone let go of their expectations and inhibitions a little more easily, and on this particular day, we were all reminded of the joy and laughter to be found in a sing-along and silly dance, the wonder that exists in the act of exploration and discovery, and the peace experienced when we take a moment to catch our breath. I left the room wondering what other goodies were left in the Wizard’s stash of magic tricks – which he makes clear at the very beginning are not the type of ‘tricks’ that one might be expecting from a Wizard at all.

This won’t be everyone’s cup of tea and the performance piece may not be recognized as a fine work of art, but it is silly and whimsical and even a little bizarre. For a few moments it perfectly captures the magic of theatre, which, to Weatherly’s point, is really no different than the magic to be found in life’s everyday moments when you open yourself up to them – because, really, that magic lies in oneself. It all sounds quite fluffy, but there is a tangible vulneribility at play here as well, and although details that would detract from the mood or safety of the space are never revealed, it is clear that Weatherly has come from a bumpy and darker place, and it seems that it is for both himself and his audience that this work is shared as the antedote to the dark clouds that often cast shadows on us all.

Not only was it a pleasure to be reintroduced to the Wizard in me, but it was an incredible experience to witness the same transformation in so many others, too. That, for me, makes “Stick or Wizard?” truly magical…

“Stick or Wizard?” continues its run in Venue #3 of The Storefront Fringe Festival