This is the latest star signed up to York Theatre Royal’s panto – Zeus the border collie.
Zeus will make his stage debut alongside EastEnders star Nina Wadi, ‘Dame’ Robin Simpson and Raven star James Mackenzie in Jack and the Beanstalk opening on 8 December.
A theatre spokesperson said: “Zeus’s amazing audition gave us all paws for thought. He’s a natural stage performer whose dogged determination to win the role was a real tail-wagging moment.”
Zeus, a six-year from York, is already a winner on the canine stage with three Young Kennel Club Crufts trophies to his credit.
Pantomime director Juliet Forster was delighted to hear that Zeus is “very eager to please, playful and up for learning” as she’ll be training him in his acting debut.
Zeus loves cream cheese, squeezy cheese and sometimes has carrots for breakfast. He eats at the table and even has his own chair. His favourite toys are balls and he has a collection of soft toys.
Activities Zeus likes include rounding up horses but not, as you might expect from a Collie, rounding up sheep. He is, however, best friends with two sheep, Maisie Midnight Fluffington and Wallace.
For the show, Zeus will be working alongside Dave the pantomime cow.
Anna Soden plays Dave all on her own, rather than the usual two people squeezed into a cow costume.
“In 19 years of writing and producing pantomimes we’ve never had a human cow before,” said writer Paul Hendy, from York Theatre Royal’s producing partner Evolution.
“We wanted to do something different and director Juliet Forster was very open to that. It makes more opportunities in the show for the cow. It’s a much bigger part than usual. Dave is very much one of the gang.”
York Theatre Royal more traditional pantomime cow Patricia hasn’t been put out to grass. She’s joined the Bridlington Spa Theatre pantomime.