A theatre company is holding ‘auditions’ to find a dog to star in its upcoming production of ‘Oliver!’
With less than four weeks until the curtain goes up at The Regent Centre in Christchurch, director Frank Ewins of Bournemouth Musical Theatre (BMT) Productions is still without a pooch to play Bill Sikes’ dog Bullseye.
So he is appealing for dog owners to bring their pets along to a special canine casting.
Mr Ewins explained: “It’s getting pretty close to the show and rehearsals are going well, but we really need a dog – and we need one fast.”
He continued: “We’re not looking for a highly trained dog – it isn’t a demanding role – Bullseye only appears in two scenes in Act 2: once when he sits on the stage for a few minutes before being led off on a lead and secondly where he runs across the stage from one side to another .
“But obviously our pooch needs to be obedient, not scared of lots of people and noise – and of course he or she must love children.”
First featured in the book ‘Oliver Twist’ by Charles Dickens, Bullseye was a bull terrier. But Mr Ewins says his new star’s breed is unimportant.
“We need a small or medium dog and ideally we would like its owner to be in the wings to chaperone and prompt him or her to run across the stage.
“We have four shows, plus a Saturday matinee and a dress rehearsal on Sunday June 7.
“And while we aren’t able to pay for the dog’s services, they will get lots of doggie treats!”
Mr Ewins will be holding an open audition for dogs at 53 Chatsworth Road, Charminster, BH8 8SL, at 12 noon on Saturday May 30.
Anyone can take their dog along and the animals will be judged on their ability to come when called and how they cope with high levels of noise.
He added: “I can’t say I have ever auditioned a dog before and it will probably prove a little challenging to say the least. But that’s showbiz, as they say.”
BMT will stage ‘Oliver!’ at The Regent Centre in Christchurch from Saturday June 10 -13 (7.15pm plus a Saturday matinee at 2pm).
Tickets are available through the Box Office on: 01202 499199 or online at: www.regentcentre.co.uk