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Make sure you're off to see the wizard these holidays

Published: 16 April 2018
  • Wizard of Ōtāhuhu co-directors Alison Quigan and Troy Tu'ua outside Māngere Arts Centre, where their show will be on throughout the April school holidays.
  • Directors of The Wizard of Ōtāhuhu, Alison Quigan and Troy Tu'ua outside the Māngere Arts Centre where the show will be performed.

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Make sure you're off to see the wonderful The Wizard of Ōtāhuhu these holidays

Alison Quigan from the Māngere Arts Centre – Ngā Tohu o Uenuku wants audiences to come with great expectations as she’s confident the upcoming theatre production, The Wizard of Ōtāhuhu, will blow them away.

“It’s hard to quantify it, but people should expect to see a show of really amazing dancers and extraordinary singers, be surprised and have lots of fun with your children,” she says.

Since 2014, Alison Quigan and Troy Tu’ua have co-directed a new production each year, thanks to funding from Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board. This time they are bringing a 50-strong cast and crew together to prepare yet another spectacle of dance and music.

The Wizard of Ōtāhuhu is full of energy and humour and after their smash hit Mirror Mirror in 2017, which won the company ‘Best Overall Production’ at the prestigious Auckland Theatre Awards. Alison is confident their team will deliver another outstanding performance season to wow audiences.

“The talent in South Auckland is extraordinary and for the last five years, these shows have been about giving that talent a pathway into the arts industry.”

Alison cites Suivai Pilisipi Autagavaia as just one recent example of an actor who, after appearing in a 2014 production at the arts centre, has gone on to star in bigger things as a lead actor in the recent feature film Hibiscus and Ruthless.

She says it’s been immensely rewarding to train a new generation of aspiring actors following her own distinguished 40-year career as an actor, director and playwright.

Among her many achievements, she has received a Queen’s Service Medal for her services to theatre, plus had a long stint in the much-loved role of Yvonne on Shortland Street.

She says the work required for a show like The Wizard of Ōtāhuhu is enormous due to the extra training required of the many new and emerging actors involved.

“It’s a lot of hard work which includes eight weeks of rehearsals and there’s a lot of training including learning all of the choreography which is of a very high standard, thanks to Elvis Lopeti from the Palace Dance Studio.”

Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board provides funding for these productions as a way to increase the local community’s access to and participation in the arts and chairperson Lemauga Lydia Sosene says it’s something the board is pleased to have supported.

“There is so much talent in our area, and we are really blessed to be able to have very experienced people like Alison to guide that talent to reach its full potential.”

Go to the event listing for more details.