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Legally Blonde canine star meets his fans in Lakenham

PUBLISHED: 17:35 14 March 2018 | UPDATED: 17:35 14 March 2018

Winston, the English Bulldog, who will be appearing in Legally Blonde The Musical at Norwich Theatre Royal gets to meet his fans at Harriet Court Housing with Care scheme. Pictured with Betty Griffin.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Winston, the English Bulldog, who will be appearing in Legally Blonde The Musical at Norwich Theatre Royal gets to meet his fans at Harriet Court Housing with Care scheme. Pictured with Betty Griffin. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

Norfolk's newest canine star enjoyed a day out meeting some of his fans ahead of taking to the Norwich Theatre Royal stage in the musical Legally Blonde.

Four-year-old Winston, the winner of the dog auditions for Legally Blonde at the Theatre Royal, with owner Rhonda Dunthorne. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYFour-year-old Winston, the winner of the dog auditions for Legally Blonde at the Theatre Royal, with owner Rhonda Dunthorne. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Winston - a four-year-old bulldog owned by James Madden and Rhonda Dunthorne from Hainford - landed a role in the show after he proved he had the woof factor at auditions last month.

He beat seven other dogs to the part of Rufus, however residents of Harriet Court in Lakenham have known for a long time that Winston has star quality.

His owner Rhonda is deputy manager of Harriet Court, which is a Housing with Care scheme with 40 flats, and she often takes him to work where he brightens up the day of many of the residents.

“There are tenants here who have had dogs all their lives but can’t have dogs now so they love to see him,” Rhonda said.

Legally Blonde The Musical is coming to Norwich Theatre Royal.
Photo: Robert WorkmanLegally Blonde The Musical is coming to Norwich Theatre Royal. Photo: Robert Workman

“It brightens their day and makes them smile. They make a fuss of him.”

During today’s visit many of the residents spoke of why they loved Winston.

Among his biggest fans is 88-year-old Betty Griffin who has lived at Harriet Court for two years. She said: “Winston likes having his back tickled. I used to have little black poodles and bred them with my husband, so it’s nice when Winston comes in.”

Pauline Scott, 86, who has been at Harriet Court for a year, said: “I think Winston is lovely. I’ve seen the Legally Blonde film and I think it’s wonderful he is going to be in the theatre show.”

Legally Blonde The Musical is coming to Norwich Theatre Royal.
Photo: Robert WorkmanLegally Blonde The Musical is coming to Norwich Theatre Royal. Photo: Robert Workman

Some of the residents are hoping to watch Winston take to the stage in Legally Blonde, and Rhonda and James have about 30 family members and friends who have booked tickets to watch their dog in the spotlight.

Rhonda thinks Winston will enjoy his moment in the spotlight. She said: “He’s good on the lead, good off the lead, so hopefully fingers crossed all will be well.”

Legally Blonde is based on the hit movie starring Reese Witherspoon. The show tells the story of sorority sister Elle Woods who puts down her credit cards and picks up the books to bag a place at Harvard Law School and win back her boyfriend. While Elle’s dog, Bruiser the Chihuahua, is played by a canine actor who tours with the show, at each venue a local dog is cast to play Rufus.

Legally Blonde is at the Theatre Royal from March 26 to 31. To book tickets, visit www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk

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