Meet Norfolk’s new canine star who is joining the cast of Legally Blonde
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018
Meet Winston - the four-legged friend who proved he had the woof-factor at auditions for Legally Blonde The Musical.
The four-year-old bulldog - who is owned by James Madden and Rhonda Dunthorne from Hainford - will star in the show when it comes to Norwich Theatre Royal after he impressed judges at an audition day at Castle Mall on Monday.
Eight dogs had competed for the chance to appear as Rufus in the musical which 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.
David Barrett, associate director and who plays Emmett in the show, and dance captain Helen Petrovna have the all-important task of casting Rufus.
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Mr Barrett said: 'Rufus belongs to Paulette, the hairdresser played by Rita Simons, and the idea is we go and rescue her dog from her ex-boyfriend. Whereas Elle's dog Bruiser is small, cute and cuddly, Rufus is supposed to be the complete opposite of that.'
He said they picked Winston to play Rufus because he had such a lovely temperament.
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'He was completely consistent all the way through. We did runs with various people and he was fantastic every time. What I liked most was he was relaxed but he was also energetic when we needed him to be,' he said.
Winston's owners said he was to be given a special steak dinner to celebrate.
Mr Madden said: 'I'm absolutely shocked. We did not expect to win. He's a lovely dog and we love him to bits...The thing with him is he is such a placid dog...nothing fazes him.'
Ms Dunthorne added: 'I'm really excited and so pleased. It's lovely. Winston is such a lovely boy. He's just a people's dog.'
The seven other dogs who made it through to the audition stage were: Monty, owned by Karen Davies from Norwich; Ellie, owned by Jonathan Litson from Cromer; Dr Watson, owned by Scott Hope from East Tuddenham; Sugar and Wallie, owned by Lexi Davidson from Debenham; Paris, owned by Jessica Lambert from Foulsham; and Arthur, owned by Anita Leader from Brentwood.
Legally Blonde is at the Theatre Royal from March 26 to 31 - www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk
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