It will be a full circle moment for Liam Head when he struts the Lyric Theatre stage at QPAC in the return of the hit musical Wicked.

One of the most successful stage musicals ever, seen by more than 65 million people in 16 countries, Wicked returns to Brisbane in September, 20 years after premiering in Australia and 21 years since its Broadway debut.

Head, a graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, recalls seeing Wicked at QPAC as a boy.

“Even as a young kid, I remember driving past and seeing all the signs on QPAC for different shows,” Head says.

“And I was thinking, man, that’d be so sick to be in a show like that one day. Now, being a part of Wicked, to be at QPAC in a few months’ time is very exciting. To come back home, see family again, talk to your old mates and have them come see the show. It’s always a really good experience.”

Head plays Fiyero in the musical, which is loosely based on the Gregory Maguire best-selling novel – the prequel to The Wizard of Oz – about the events that led to the creation of the Wicked Witch of the West through the eyes of two unlikely friends, the green-skinned Elphaba and popular Glinda.

But really, Wicked‘s underlying themes are about friendship, difference and trust.

Fiyero is a Winkie prince and Elphaba’s love interest (and Glinda’s ex-fiance) in Wicked. He’s also the man whose fate is to become the Scarecrow.

For Head, it’s a world away from one of his most recent roles playing Take That band member Howard Donald in the Robbie Williams’ biopic Better Man, but that’s exactly how he likes to roll.

“I love the rehearsal process in theatre,” he says. “Performing is always wonderful, but I love creating the character, creating the world, and hopefully I get to do more in the future.

“From a glance, Fiyero is pretty two-dimensional, but it’s been really exciting getting to know him better and finding that full journey – that arc from Playboy Prince to love interest. It’s been fun.

“My brother Jackson played Fiyero in a musical theatre production at Redcliffe. So I was like, oh, this is going to be really great. There’s a lot of depth here that I get to work with.”

Head’s enjoying the peripatetic life of musical theatre – taking his wife (just married) with him on the road for the big adventure.

“I work week to week,” he says. “I’ll get an email from company management saying, ‘Hey, we’re going to Brisbane’. And I’ll be like, ‘okay, sweet’.

“There’ll be a time when it won’t suit what I’m wanting out of life, but I’m 22. I’m still young. I’ve got a beautiful wife and a beautiful dog and we like to travel at the moment and we’re excited to see more of Australia.”

It also gives him time and space to daydream of hopefully expanding the production company, The Head Bros, which he set up with his brother to write, direct and produce shows.

After leading roles in Grease and Legally Blonde the Musical, Head says he’s enjoying the prospect of not knowing what could come next.

“I’m only 22 and I’ve got quite a resume already behind me in film and theatre,” he says. “I am grateful for the opportunities that I’ve had.”

Wicked opens at QPAC on September 12

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