Photo by Brian Geach
In case you missed the news, the upcoming Australian production of The Wizard of Oz will feature Lucy Durack as Glinda the Good Witch, Jemma Rix as The Wicked Witch of the West, Anthony Warlow as The Wizard & Professor Marvel, fresh face Samantha Dodemaide as Dorothy and announcing the role of Toto the farm girl’s beloved dog will be played by Australian Cairn Terriers, Flick and Trouble who will be sharing the role! RSPCA is the official partner of this version of The Wizard of Oz having it’s Australian Premiere at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in Brisbane, Queensland on 4 November 2017.
Producers John Frost and Suzanne Jones are thrilled to reveal that the show will be partnering with RSPCA as their official charity partner, and will see the musical raise funds for the ‘creatures great and small’ animal welfare charity.
Originally from Ballarat, acting dogs Flick and Trouble are trained by Luke Hura, Australia’s foremost film, television and theatre dog trainer. Luke also trained Koko, the star of the film Red Dog, as well as Buddy who portrayed Sandy for the Gordon Frost Organisation’s production of Annie in 2012. He has been given the undertaking to train the dogs to perform several different tricks ‘set to script’ additionally providing actress, Samantha Dodemaide, who plays Dorothy, a lesson in how to cooperate and work together with the dogs to help them keep focus during the magical and upbeat show.
“After rigorous paw-ditions across the country, we unanimously agreed that Flick and Trouble were the perfect dogs to play our Toto,” said Producer John Frost. “They are clever and confident dogs who will be trained based on techniques using natural instincts and positive reinforcement for tricks from travelling in a “flying” house, to being carried in a basket by Dorothy and encounters with the Wicked Witch of The West. We know Luke will have a wonderful time training Flick and Trouble, and we have no doubt Australian audiences will fall in love with them too.”
Producer Suzanne Jones said, “We are absolutely thrilled to be collaborating with RSPCA Queensland as our chosen official charity partner. With Toto being one of the most-loved characters in the show, it seemed a logical and rewarding partnership. As Dorothy discovers ‘there is no place like home’; so we are looking forward to working with RSPCA in each state to raise money and awareness for ‘rescue dogs’, animals who have been abandoned, to help them find a new and forever home.”
RSPCA Queensland CEO Mark Townend is also elated with the partnership. “It’s a natural fit,” he said. “Toto has been adored by generations of children and we have hundreds of “Totos” looking for homes every day. The involvement of The Wizard of Oz team can only help draw attention to the fact that RSPCA animals really do make the best pets.”
‘To raise funds for RSPCA Queensland a limited number of tickets will be sold to the final dress rehearsal of The Wizard of Oz at 2pm on Saturday 4 November 2017 at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC. Funds raised from the sale of the tickets will be donated to RSPCA Queensland to support their local animal care and adoption facilities. Tickets for the RSPCA dress rehearsal will go on sale soon.’
The London Palladium production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Wizard of Oz will have its Australian Premiere in Brisbane at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC from 4 November before travelling to the Capitol Theatre, Sydney from 30 December; the Festival Theatre, Adelaide from 3 April; and the Regent Theatre, Melbourne, from 15 May. Tickets for the Adelaide season will be on sale from 8 September.
‘Developed from the ever-popular MGM screenplay, the London Palladium production of The Wizard of Oz contains the beloved Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg songs from the Oscar®-winning movie score, all the favorite characters and iconic moments, plus a few surprises along the way, including new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.’
Book your tickets at qpac.com.au for The Wizard of Oz beginning performances
4 November 2017.