It's a dog's life for Annie wannabes

FELIXSTOWE'S Spa Pavilion theatre is used to the odd theatrical paws - but no audition came odder than this.Starstruck Suffolk pooches were put through their paces as producers of Annie, the Spa's summer youth show, looked for the perfect canine companion for the runaway orphan.

FELIXSTOWE'S Spa Pavilion theatre is used to the odd theatrical paws - but no audition came odder than this.

Starstruck Suffolk pooches were put through their paces as producers of Annie, the Spa's summer youth show, looked for the perfect canine companion for the runaway orphan.

'Never work with children or animals' is old adage but producers of the Depression era musical nevertheless pressed on undeterred.

"We're working with a hundred kids and a dog," said theatre manager Paul Ryan. "That shows how sane we are."


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Sandy the dog is her only friend as the frizzy-haired heroine played by Bethany Bugg unburdens her heart to him in the hitsong Tomorrow – so it is definitely a LEAD role.

Five dogs came forward for yesterday's audition, desperate to be the one to take a bow-wow in the spotlight.

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As the name suggests colour is all important so the field was narrowed to those who could be justifiably be called Sandy.

Two labradors, a jack russell and a dread-locked Hungarian puli all trod the boards and were exposed to tapes of applause, the sound of people milling around them and tested on their temperament.

"We need a friendly dog who gets on well with people, particularly children," said assistant manager Alex Barber. "Annie will have to concentrate on acting and singing rather than trying to control a dog."

But this is not a part that will land them Hollywood big bucks.

Mr Ryan said: "I'm afraid they will only be paid in dog biscuits."

The successful candidate will know within a week if they win the part.

And the lucky mut will no doubt howl with joy.

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