Wicked musical director dies aged 53
Posted by  badge Boss on Jan 09
Kellie Dickerson has died aged 53 (Picture: Instagram)

director Kellie Dickerson has died aged 53. 

The Australian talent, who took the helm of music for productions, Wicked, and My Fair Lady, had Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) – a rare neurodegenerative disorder.

Her agent, Working Management, confirmed the news of her passing on social media.

‘Vale our gorgeous Kellie. It was both a joy and honour to be your friend and agent. You gave so much to so many,’ they wrote on Instagram.

‘A true icon of the industry. Your energy, kindness and talent were boundless.

‘You never gave up the fight, humour, grace or Wordle!

Dickerson, pictured with actress Lucy Durack, was described as a ‘true icon’ (Picture: Instagram)

‘Much love to Broady, Toni, John and family. Rest in Peace Kel. You are loved and missed always.’

Dickerson’s career began as a pianist and keyboardist on productions including The Phantom of the Opera, The Sound of Music, and The Wizard of Oz.

She progressed to associate musical director, before becoming a musical director, most recently on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Dickerson with TV and stage director Roger Hodgman and Alinta(Picture: Instagram)

Dickerson retired in 2020, as her MSA worsened.

MSA is described on NHS as a ‘rare condition of the nervous system that causes gradual damage to nerve cells in the brain’.

It can affect balance, movement and the autonomic nervous system, which controls basic functions, such as breathing, digestion and bladder control.

Tributes have been posted from fans of her work, and friends.

‘Such a glorious woman. What a mark she left on the world ❤️,’ wrote Instagram user Amy Maiden.

Cello_diva added: ‘Trailblazer, Friend to All, Musician Spectacular. 💔💔💔.’

Rhonda shared a message (Picture: Instagram)

‘Rest in peace darling Kellie & fly high beautiful lady – MSA (multiple systems atrophy) is the cruelest of neurological diseases – I know full well as this is the same disease that took my sister’s life away.

‘Now you can be reunited with darling Rob,’ shared performer Rhonda Burchmore.

Dickerson’s partner musical theatre star Rob Guest died from a stroke in 2008, aged 57.

When Dickerson announced her retirement in 2020 she told about her initial symptoms.

‘First of all, I noticed my balance was poor so I would stumble, and the second thing was my speech was a little slurred as if I was drunk, but of course, I wasn’t. I wouldn’t drink at work,’ she explained.

Initially, an MRI scan came back ‘normal,’ but Dickerson continued to push for further answers: ‘Gradually the second MRI showed something not right, but it wasn’t a brain tumour, it wasn’t cancer – which is something to be grateful for – and not MS. It was this rare condition called MSA.’

A fundraising page with set up for Dickerson’s possible treatment costs, which reached over $50,000, by friend Dioni Butt.

An update was last shared in December: ‘Kel’s condition is a cruel one and unfortunately, she has deteriorated lately and is barely able to speak. She has full-time carers with her and is of course being looked after by her beautiful parents too.’