Canine Stars of the Stage…

15 Nov

Did you know it takes 6 months to train a Chihuahua for the theatre?

“Stage work is, without question, the toughest assignment,” says Cindy Sharville of Animals Galore actors agency. “There are so many potential distractions – lights, scenery, the audience – and no opportunity to do it again if something goes wrong.”

The  canine role in the West End production of  Legally Blonde is especially taxing Sharville explains “In the first scene, the dog has to run on, bark in response to questions, then jump into the character’s arms.” But for this particular routine, “It takes almost as long to train the actor as it does the dog!”

According to Sharville, “Chihuahuas are delicate. They never do consecutive performances. For the tour, we’ve had to take a couple of Jack Russell crosses as they’re a little hardier.”

Sharville’s interview makes my mind conjure up Chihuahuas as the ingenue of the canine acting world… Does that mean that Newfoundlands are the heavy weights – like Marlon Brando? Poodles, equipped with perfect comic timing and a penchant for slapstick? Sharpeis – the action stars? Spinonis – make a warn and wiry sheriff in a Western. Who are the Johnny Depp’s?

For more on canine stars of the stage check out A Dog for Annie on The Guardian website


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