Stage set as dogs hit Bullseye at auditions
A stage play in the Black Country has employed two four-legged side-kicks after auditions to find the best dogs for the job.
Star-Struck Theatre Company held auditions for the role of Bullseye, the English Bull Terrier side-kick to Bill Sykes in Charles Dickens’s Oliver.
WATCH: Six dogs turn out to audition for stage production of Oliver
After the group put out a plea on Facebook, thousands of people got in touch in the hope that their pooch would fit the bill.
Star-Struck Theatre Company chairman Richard Probert, said: “We thought we might struggle to find a suitable dog, but the post has been viewed by over 26,000 people and our inbox has been flooded with owners keen to get their dog in our show.
“We’ve had messages from all over the country. The furthest so far is a lady in South Africa that is keen to fly her and her dog over for our am dram production, at her own cost.
“I’ve had owners begging me to let their dog visit us to show how great they would be. I’ve had a lady who lives in Norfolk who had already checked she could book the week off work to drive over and stay locally while her dog was in the show.
“The response has been phenomenal, to be honest it’s been a bit overwhelming. We thought we might struggle to find one, let alone the hundreds of responses we have had.”
Auditions were held in the West End Club on Tuesday February 26 with six dogs being put through their paces.
In the end, Hugo and Sikes were the two English Bull Terriers who got the part, with the pair alternating through scenes throughout the play.
Richard added: “It went really well, the dogs got on really well with the people, not so much with each other.
“We needed the right dog on stage, the breed needed to be right for a start, and the auditions helped us do that.
“People who have seen Oliver will know that Bullseye was white with a black patch on one eye, so we wanted to use dogs that looked similar to that.
“We think the show will be fantastic with the two dogs we chose, their owners are looking forward to seeing their dogs on stage.”
Star-Struck Theatre Company’s production of Oliver is coming to the Mill Theatre in Sedgley from May 22 - 25.
Tickets can be bought by visiting www.seaty.co.uk/oliver.