The Dandies bring Harry Potter improv to Blyth’s Festival of Wizardry

This past weekend, The Dandies took our Harry Potter improv on the road to make some magic at Blyth’s Festival of Wizardry! Not only did we perform our Hogwarts Follies show, but we also created an improvised question and answer panel, featuring spoof versions of fan favourite Harry Potter characters. In case you couldn’t make it out to Blyth, we wanted to share the highlights of our incredible weekend at the Festival of Wizardry!

En route to Harry Potter improv

Since none of The Dandies had a portkey handy, we drove out to Blyth on Friday, in preparation for our weekend of Harry Potter improv shows at the Festival of Wizardry. The Dandies’ car rides are always a great time full of puns, laughs, and burger pit stops (Zach is all about Wendy’s when we’re traveling)!

We made it to Blyth just in time for a late dinner, so we headed over to the Cowbell Kitchen. When we arrived, we found the Harry Potter fun already in full swing!

Cowbell Brewery was ready to celebrate the weekend with Harry Potter fans

The Cowbell Kitchen had decorated in honour of the Festival of Wizardry. They had candles “floating” in the sky, potions on the tables, and even a parliament of owls!

Cowbell Kitchen – a parliament of owls waiting to bring you letters

After our meal, we headed on to our accommodations – a cottage right on the banks of Lake Huron. We spent the rest of the night hanging out in the living room, chatting. One of the best things about The Dandies is that, in addition to working well together, we also genuinely like each other. Because of that, we can have a great time just talking and laughing. Our conversations are sprawling, covering geek films and series, personal stories, and more. The only downside? We have so much fun that it’s hard to want to head to bed! Luckily, when we’re on the road, we can just put a pin in our conversations for the night, picking them up in the morning.

Hitting the Festival of Wizardy for a weekend of Harry Potter improv

Saturday was our first day at the Festival of Wizardry. We arrived early to familiarize ourselves with the event site. As we walked through the Festival, we discovered the Feast Hall, vendors, and even a Quidditch field. We also found incredible costumed characters, including “Mad-Eye” Moody

Mad Eye Moody and Several Snakes take a break from a day of teaching

Then, it was time for our mic check and first Harry Potter improv show! We were excited to see kids of all ages filling the field in front of the stage. Larry Otter and his friends took to the stage, soon getting sent on a quest to find the Borealis School for Aspiring Witches and Wizards’ missing mascot. As they did that, they found themselves caught up in He Who Cannot Be Smelled’s evil plans. Our audience members were very active in the show, shouting help out to Larry and Professor Humblemore. In the end, Larry – and the world of wizardry – were safe for another day.

The Dandies at the Festival of Wizardry (2018). Image courtesy of Elizabeth Morriss.

We went back to our house. Some of us planned dinner, while others sat down outside.

Relaxing after the show

When the sun began to set, Chris, Danielle, and Jason all took some time out to walk to the beach.

Lake Huron just before dusk

By the time they got back, Zach was building a fire. We had a group cookout, roasting hotdogs and marshmallows. Then we sat by the roaring blaze, enjoying another night of each other’s company.

Sunday, things kicked off with an interview with Bonnie Wright, followed by The Dandies’ panel show.

Bonnie Wright delights the Festival of Wizardry crowd.

We had a great time answering audience members’ questions as our spoof Harry Potter characters! With representatives of every House in the audience, we finally discovered what each does for fun. We even got to hear Rako Badploy’s haiku from the latest Hufflepuff poetry slam!

Once our last show was done, it was time to get on the highway, making our way back to Toronto.

Thank-you to everyone who made our time at the Festival of Wizardry such a success!

Want to know more about The Dandies’ preparation process? Check out how Danielle Cole creates her characters for our Harry Potter improv and other shows! Then catch The Dandies live in Holodeck Follies at Comedy Bar on October 13th!