THE King’s Theatre is urgently looking for an old dog to learn a new trick - acting on a “salary” equivalent to £500 an hour.
The successful applicant will star alongside veteran actor, and one of the best-known faces on British television, Dudley Sutton.
Sutton, whose credits include Porridge and Lovejoy, is playing the lead in Of Mice and Men at the King’s.
Badger, the elderly pooch that was originally cast in the role, did the inevitable and recently died of old age.
So the King’s have placed an urgent ad for a canine stand-in - no experience required - to play “Candy’s dog” in the stage adaptation of the John Steinbeck novel.
An advert states: “Most breeds and sizes will be considered, but he or she should ideally look relatively elderly and have the appearance of a ‘working’ dog, and must have a calm temperament.
“The dog will be on stage for around 5 minutes in total, alongside Dudley Sutton, playing ‘Candy’ and on a lead at all times.”
“£300 per week will be paid to the dog and its owner.”
The dog will have to appear just seven times on stage, giving a total “acting” time of just 35 minutes.
That means the canine will earn the equivalent of £514 an hour, or almost 77 times the national minimum wage for an adult.
Dog owners wanting to check their pet’s diary are told by the King’s that they’ll be needed between April 26-30 this year.
Set in America during the Great Depression, Of Mice and Men tells the story of George and Lennie, two brothers working on a ranch and trying to make enough money to buy land of their own.
Candy is an old ranch hand who faces becoming homeless when he becomes too old to clean the bunkhouse.
His only companion is his ancient beloved sheepdog. Known only as “Candy’s dog”.
Perhaps alarmingly for budding thespian pooches, Candy is shot because it is too old to work and is no longer of value.
The production is being put on by the Touring Consortium Theatre Company.
The not-for-profit organisation, run in partnership with eight regional theatres, is having to find last-minute stand-in dogs at another 11 locations, including Blackpool, Brighton, Cardiff and Birmingham.