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It'll be far from a 'paw' performance as delightful dogs steal the spotlight at upcoming Bridgnorth show

By Rory Smith | Bridgnorth | Bridgnorth entertainment | Published:

Theatre groups throughout Shropshire are an invaluable way for budding actors young and old to take to the stage and express themselves in ways like no other.

Angel and Harvey with the two Dorothies, Molly Parker and Jessica Knowles

But there are two unexpected performers stealing the spotlight at one upcoming production in Bridgnorth.

Harvey the shih tzu-pug cross-breed and his new best friend Angel – a mix of shih tzu, pug and Yorkshire terrier – will co-star as Toto when Bridgnorth Musical Theatre Company stages Wizard of Oz later this month.

With his costume fitted and his makeup perfected, Harvey will make his debut performance and his owner Jan Round said despite initial stage fright, the six-year-old has found his calling.

Jan, from Low Town in Bridgnorth, said: "He's in his element. Harvey's never done anything like this before but he's taken to it like a duck to water.

"Every time I take him to rehearsal there's a rush of people to come and greet him, it's like he's famous.

"I sat in for the last half an hour of the last rehearsal and I was just amazed – he was performing with person to person and trotting around the stage like he was born to be there."

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The seasoned Angel will take to the stage for a second time, having been scouted after an Oscar-worthy performance with West Bromwich Operatic Society last year.

Performing runs through her veins as her owner, Hayley Barratt, from Perton near Bridgnorth, is currently studying dance and drama at the University of Wolverhampton.

She said: "The director from West Bromwich recommended her and put me through to Bridgnorth.

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"Angel loves the camera and will strike a pose whenever the chance comes.

"When she first performed I did think she might be scared with the loud noises and bright lights but she wasn't at all, she loves the attention."

Jan added that her pup had taken his role so seriously, when his counterpart was drafted in amid fears he was being overworked, he initially turned his paw up at the thought of competition.

"It's only in the last week or so Angel has come in as they were concerned about Harvey doing seven nights plus two matinees – they'll be on stage most of the time.

"I think he was a bit put out another dog's come along. He never growls but he barked at the other dog for the first time as if to say 'what are you doing on my stage?'. I don't think he wanted to share the limelight at first."

Harvey will star in two night time and two matinee performances, while Angel has been tirelessly rehearsing for her four evening shows.

The afternoon productions are on February 19 and 22, and evening performances are on February 18 through to 22.

Tickets can be purchased from Bridgnorth Leisure Centre or by calling 01746 761541.

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley, Telford.

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