Royal & Derngate searching for Northamptonshire dogs to play the part of Bullseye in Oliver! musical

'Bullseye' who once played the part in Oliver! at the  Raunds Carnival
'Bullseye' who once played the part in Oliver! at the Raunds Carnival

The director of a popular musical being staged at the Royal & Derngate in Northampton is looking for ‘tough-looking’ dogs to take part in its latest production.

Royal & Derngate is looking for Northamptonshire dogs to play the role of Bullseye in its forthcoming Youth Theatre and Young Company production of the heart-warming, family-favourite musical Oliver!

Rehearsals for Oliver! are already well underway and director Christopher Elmer-Gorry is now seeking a canine companion for his uptight London hard man, Bill Sykes.

Christopher said: “I am looking for tough-looking dogs with a friendly and warm temperament.

“Ideal dog breeds would include Bull Terrier, British Bulldog, Staffordshire Bull Terrier or any terrier cross.

“However, these are not the only dogs we will consider. Basically we are after a dog that is medium-sized and not too fluffy! The dogs must be happy to be on a lead and to be handled by the actor playing Bill Sykes. It would be perfect if the dog is able to bark on instruction – but this is not vital.”

Successful dogs will join the talented company of local performers from across Northampton and Northamptonshire to present the award-winning musical from Tuesday July 12 to Sunday July 16.

The key features required are a rough and scruffy look and a friendly temperament which means the dog that is safe around children and large crowds. The dog must also be fully vaccinated and in good health.

Christopher added: “We have worked with several dogs in the past and this promises to be a memorable experience for both the dogs and their owners.

“Bullseye is a really important role and has quite a few scenes in the show, so we really need dogs who can put their best paw forward.”

The dogs and their owners will be required for rehearsals starting in June and will need to be available throughout the run of the show.

Royal & Derngate is looking to cast multiple dogs in the role to perform at alternate performances. Auditions are being held at Royal & Derngate on Saturday May 21, with sessions running from 10am, 11am and 12noon.

To apply for an audition, owners must download an application form from the theatre’s website, www.royalandderngate.co.uk (following links from the Oliver! event page).

Completed application forms must be submitted by Thursday May 12. For information about the show or to book tickets, customers can visit the website or call Box Office on 01604 624811.