Creatures great and small rejoice as Toto is announced - The Wizard of Oz to partner with official charity RSPCA

Posted by Adelaide Festival Centre on Tuesday 5 September 2017

Producers John Frost and Suzanne Jones today announced their canine stars who will play the role of Toto in the upcoming Australian tour of the world’s favourite musical, The Wizard of Oz. Taking on the role of Dorothy’s loyal companion will be Australian Cairn Terriers Flick and Trouble, who will share the role of Toto. The producers are also delighted to announce that they will be partnering with RSPCA as their official charity partner, which will see the production raise funds for the charity.

Hailing from Ballarat, Flick and Trouble are trained by Luke Hura, the country’s leading film, television and theatre dog trainer. In addition to these prized pooches, Luke trained Koko, the star of the film Red Dog, as well as Buddy who played Sandy for the GFO production of Annie in 2012. Luke has been tasked with training the dogs to perform a variety of tricks ‘set to script’ as well as teaching actress Samantha Dodemaide, who plays Dorothy, how to work collaboratively with the dogs and keep them focused in the performance.

“After rigorous paw-ditions across the country, we unanimously agreed that Flick and Trouble were the perfect dogs to play our Toto,” said 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.”

Suzanne Jones said, “We are absolutely thrilled to be collaborating with RSPCA South Australia 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 South Australia cares for around 10,000 animals every year, many of which are abandoned, unwanted or lost. Despite all the special care animals receive at RSPCA South Australia, there really is no place like a loving home. We are very excited to have been selected as charity partner and money raised will go to RSPCA South Australia’s important work to reunite lost pets with their families, and finding forever homes for thousands of animals each year,” said Yvonne Martin-Clark, Executive Manager of Fundraising & Marketing at RSPCA South Australia.

To raise funds for RSPCA South Australia, an allocation of tickets will be set aside for a performance of The Wizard of Oz in Adelaide. Funds raised from the sale of these tickets will be donated to RSPCA South Australia to support their local animal care and adoption facilities. Performance and ticket details will be available soon.

Flick and Trouble will join The Wizard of Oz cast beside Anthony Warlow as The Wizard and Professor Marvel, Lucy Durack as Glinda the Good Witch, Jemma Rix as The Wicked Witch of the West and Samantha Dodemaide as Dorothy.

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; Adelaide Festival Centre’s 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.

The new production of The Wizard of Oz had its world premiere at The London Palladium Theatre in March 2011. After a successful West End run, the production had its North American premiere in Toronto in December 2012, and then embarked on a US tour from September 2013. The production boasts a stellar creative team: Jeremy Sams (direction), Robert Jones (set and costume design), Arlene Phillips (choreography), Hugh Vanstone (lighting design), Mick Potter (sound design), Jon Driscoll & Daniel Brodie (video/projection design), David Cullen (orchestrations) and Guy Simpson (musical supervision).

Brilliant…A ten-star production if ever there was one!” - The Sunday Telegraph

"Enchanting, exciting and electrifying!! - ETalk CTV

Over the rainbow and over the top fun! 5 stars!” - Breakfast Television Toronto

Click your heels together and join Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, Dorothy and her little dog Toto, as they journey through the magical land of Oz to meet the Wizard and obtain their hearts’ desires. Watch out for the Wicked Witch of the West and her “winged monkeys” as you rediscover the real story of Oz in this fantastic musical treat for the whole family.

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SEASON DETAILS

ADELAIDE

Venue:                          Festival Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre
Season:                        From 3 April 2018
Performance Times:       Wed-Sat 7.30pm, Matinees Wed 1pm, Sat 2pm, Sun 1pm & 6pm*
Prices:                          From $59.90**
Bookings:                      bass.net.au or 131 246
Groups 12+ 08 8205 2220
* Performance times vary weekly
** Transaction fees apply

MEDIA ENQUIRIES:

ADELAIDE
Francesca Belperio at francesca.belperio@adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au or 08 8216 8699 or 0402 842 204
Genevieve Meegan at Genevieve.Meegan@adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au or 08 8216 8515 or 0414 558 078

NATIONAL AND SYDNEY
IP Publicity, Sharonne Lipman at
sharonne@ippublicity.com.au or 0466 896 650 or Ian Phipps at ian@ippublicity.com.au or 0419 977 649