Toby McKenzie is a director on the rise

READY: Wicked director Toby McKenzie relaxes ahead of the debut performance of the show by Holiday Actors tonight at the Lighthouse Theatre. Picture: Rob Gunstone
READY: Wicked director Toby McKenzie relaxes ahead of the debut performance of the show by Holiday Actors tonight at the Lighthouse Theatre. Picture: Rob Gunstone

WHEN the Holiday Actors production of Wicked starts at the Lighthouse Theatre in Warrnambool tonight, some of the best young talent in the south-west will be on show.

While there will be plenty of emerging stars shining brightly in the spotlight on stage, leading the off-stage operation will be a man going places in a hurry.

The director of Wicked is Toby McKenzie, a 22-year-old from Camperdown.

McKenzie has acted in many stage productions and made his directing debut when he oversaw the Campderdown Theatre Company’s version of Seussical last year.

McKenzie is excited about the talent he has to work with for Wicked

“We had 100 people audition for 50 spots so there is a lot of talent out there,” McKenzie said.

“It certainly made it difficult to make the final decisions on the cast, but it has given us such a great team.

“I think it is a good indication of the strength of live theatre across Victoria.

“In this technological age, we have the tools to create some magical experiences on stage and people want to be a part of it. The support we get from our families plays a big part in everything running smoothly.”

Music for the show will be provided by an an 18-piece orchestra of local musicians.

Wicked is a prelude to the Wizard of Oz and tells the story of the Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, and Galinda, the Good Witch of the South.

Wicked will be staged nightly at 7.30pm from tonight to Saturday. There will also be a matinee on Saturday at 1.30pm.