The Empire Theatre's 2017 major production of smash hit Broadway musical Wicked takes the classic story behind The Wizard of Oz and flips the perspective, telling the previously untold story of the Witches of Oz.
Following unlikely friends Elphaba and Glinda as they overcome rivalry, envy and ambition in the face of a corrupt government, Wicked proves the world we came to love in the original tale may not be all it appears to be.
Wicked is proudly sponsored by Heritage Bank and will be performed at the Empire Theatre from Friday 31 March to Sunday 9 April. To book tickets, click here.
Director - Alison Vallette
Alison has been involved in the theatre industry since her early childhood. She trained in the UK at Bush Davies and Elmhurst Ballet Schools. On moving to Australia she completed her dance training with the Australian Dance Theatre in Adelaide, and then returned to Europe. She has danced in many productions both in Australia and overseas, working with Lulu, Ian Lavender, Charlie Drake, Madge Ryan, Maria Friedman and Alfred Molina to name a few. She performed in the West End production of Oklahoma! (Cameron MacIntosh) and toured the UK and Europe with other professional productions.
Alison returned to Australia and toured with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Her choreographic credits to date include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, West Side Story, Oklahoma, Jesus Christ Superstar, Sweet Charity, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Cabaret, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Singin’ in the Rain, Monty Python’s Spamalot, The Boy From Oz, The Phantom of the Opera & Mary Poppins. Her directorial credits include Cats, The Wizard of Oz, Hairspray & Mary Poppins. She coordinates and choreographs a semi-professional dance company, Velocity, who regularly perform for corporate and charity events around the Darling Downs region.
Choreographer - George Canham
George is a Brisbane-based choreographer and dance instructor, working throughout Queensland with professional credits both on stage and on screen.
While undertaking a two year theatrical internship in 2011, he worked on several major productions at QPAC as assistant choreographer and dance captain and in 2014 he made his professional choreographic debut on the QPAC Concert Hall stage with Guys and Dolls, followed by the critically acclaimed season of Monty Python’s Spamalot. For the past six years he has choreographed the nationally televised arena spectacular Creative Generations for the Queensland Department of Education, working with over 1,600 students.
He has also created works in theatre, film, corporate entertainment, and large theatrical events across the state. Past clients include NOVA 106.9, Velocity Dance, 96.5FM Family Radio, Channel Nine’s Underbelly Razor, RSPCA’s Party Rock TVC, and over 40 Musical Theatre Productions. George is the Resident Choreographer and Company Manager for ROCKIT Productions.
Musical Director - Natalie Otto
Natalie completed her Bachelor of Music (Education) at the University of Queensland in 2000 and has since had extensive experience conducting musicals, bands and choirs both professionally and in schools. Her passion for musical theatre began in Townsville while working with the North Queensland Opera and Musical Theatre company, where she played piano in Fame and Cabaret, conducted The Company Singers and was Musical Director of The Full Monty.
Originally an organist, Natalie completed her A.Mus.A. at the age of 15, and later studied classical piano at UQ. She is a Kodaly trained classroom music specialist and has taught aural based music programs from Prep to Year 12 in North Queensland, London and Brisbane. Natalie moved to Highfields in 2016 to take on the exciting role of Head of Music at Mary MacKillop Catholic College. She is thrilled to commence her involvement in the local musical theatre scene as Musical Director of her favourite musical of all time, Wicked.
Designer - Josh McIntosh
Josh has been designing for live productions and festivals for over ten year and has recently designed the set for the Australian premiere of American Idiot for QPAC and shake & stir. Also for shake & stir Josh has designed Tequila Mockingbird, Endgame, Wuthering Heights, George’s Marvellous Medicine, Dracula and Helpmann nominated Revolting Rhymes and Dirty Beasts. Other recent work includes Opera Queensland’s Kiss Me, Kate!, Harvest Rain Theatre Company’s touring arena production ofHairspray, Debase Productions’ Concerto for Harmony & Presto, and the festival and site design for QPAC’s Out of the Box. He has designed for Queensland Theatre Company, Laboite Theatre Company, Strut ’n’ Fret, Zen Zen Zo, The Australian Voices and many other companies.
For Queensland Music Festival, Josh has designed their epic outdoor signature events in Logan, Townsville, Gladstone, Bowen and Charleville and as part of Canberra’s Centenary celebrations in 2013 Josh designed the outdoor set for Kungkarangkalpa: Seven Sisters Songline, performed at Australia’s National Museum. Previous designs for Empire include Hairspray, The Wizard of Oz, Spamalot and April’s Fool. He has been awarded a Silver Matilda Award for his set design on Dracula (2015), a Gold Matilda Award for his body of design work (2011), Groundling Awards for his Body of Work in Set Design (2011 & 2012) and Body of Work in Costume Design (2011 & 2012). Josh has won Del Arte Chart Awards every year since 2003.