Director Russell Dixon is looking forward to seeing audiences jump out of their seats to sing, dance and clap along to Mamma Mia! at the Oamaru Opera House.
The July show will be one of the biggest in the history of Musical Theatre Oamaru, but it is in safe hands.
Previously, Mr Dixon has directed Mamma Mia! shows in Tauranga (2016) and, earlier this year, in Auckland.
“It was surprising to me how different my previous two shows were to each other,” he said.
“I feel the Oamaru product will be different in many ways too.”
Mr Dixon has worked in professional theatre for over 20 years.
In 2006, he went to the UK to work in theatre with a lead role on London’s West End.
A “defining” moment in his career was when he worked as an assistant director for his father, Malcolm Dixon, in an Auckland production of The Buddy Holly Story in 2010.
“It was during this time that my father noticed my suitability and approach to directing and suggested I continue to pursue this vocation. I never looked back.”
Although there were a couple of roles to be filled, the Oamaru production of Mamma Mia! was tracking well, Mr Dixon said.
The biggest challenge was finding young males willing to join the production.
“It has been challenging to find the males for Mamma Mia!, but we have made significant progress in this area and are beginning to look really strong.”
It was rewarding to push people out of their comfort zones and to the limit, he said.
“The most rewarding aspect to theatre is pushing all individuals involved to their limit and getting the absolute best from them, whatever their role in the show is.”
Mr Dixon was confident the Oamaru production would be a success.
“I am very optimistic about the success of this show.
“The Tauranga production that I directed went on to become the most successful show in Tauranga Musical Theatre’s history, and this year’s production of Mamma Mia! in Auckland was almost 100% sold out and [was] one of Amici and Auckland Music Theatre’s most popular shows ever.”
Mamma Mia! is scheduled to play at the Oamaru Opera House between July 13 and July 21.
“We have a lot of work to do to get the Oamaru show up to standard, but the team is already humming and we are going to work our butts off to achieve this.”