Top dog sought for star role

The search is on for a pooch who likes being the centre of attention as a theatre company appeals for a dog to star in its forthcoming production of Annie.

Ripley and Alfreton Musical Theatre Company (RAMTC) is looking for a special dog to play the part of Sandy in the musical which will run from April 8 to 13 next year.

The company are defying the show business adage which warns actors never to work with children and animals - but have past experience when birds of prey starred in their production of Camelot.

Assistant secretary Jane Oates said: “We are hoping that somewhere in the local area there is a dog that is great with kids, is sandy coloured, medium to large in size and even likes to ‘ham it up’ a bit for an audience. You can’t really do Annie - otherwise we would have to rewrite the play!”

The musical is based upon a comic strip called Little Orphan Annie, with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and the book by Thomas Meehan. The original Broadway production opened in 1977 and ran for nearly six years. ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘It’s the Hard-Knock Life’ are among its most popular musical numbers.

Rehearsals are already underway for the production which will see local actresses Olivia Priestly and Emily Weston play the title role in alternate performances. They take place on Thursdays at Swanwick Centenary Centre from 7.45 to 10pm, while the Annies and the two teams of orphans rehearse on Sundays.

The company is also still seeking new adult members, particularly for the men’s chorus. If you are interested please email