Pedigree pooch and a stellar performance as Annie opens in Oxford


Annie and the pedigree pooch at New Theatre Oxford
Annie and the pedigree pooch at New Theatre Oxford

It was a tail-wagging adventure down Easy Street as one of London-based Urban Paws talent agency’s Golden Retrievers took to the stage at New Theatre Oxford as the lovable pedigree pooch ‘Sandy’ in the hit family musical Annie.

Set in 1930s New York during The Great Depression, ‘Annie’ is a story about a brave young Annie forced to live a life of misery and torment at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage but is determined to find her parents.

Her luck changes when she is chosen to spend Christmas at the residence of famous billionaire Oliver Warbucks. Spiteful Miss Hannigan, though, has other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s search.

Annie with Oliver Warbucks
Annie with Oliver Warbucks

The show will see Lily, Boris and Darcy, a trio of Golden Retrievers, taking the stage across the UK and Ireland from April until November 2023, captivating audiences with their incredible, paw-pressive talents.

Being a stage performer isn’t just about looking cute and cuddly – these pups must be well-trained and able to adapt to the many distractions and challenges working in the theatre.

From navigating backstage chaos to flashing lights and the added difficulty of getting it right the first time, Lily, Boris, and Darcy are true professionals – dedicated to delivering a truly captivating performance.

With 47K followers on Instagram, Lily, Boris, and Darcy also love to get their paws into a little digital creation as Pet Influencers – the hottest new social media trend – where they spread laughter and joy across the net with thousands of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter users engaging with their content every day.

Craig Revel Horwood, probably best known as a judge on all 20 series of BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing, returned to the part of Miss Hannigan, having played the role to critical acclaim in this production in both the West End and on tour.

Craig Revel Horwood as Miss Hannigan
Craig Revel Horwood as Miss Hannigan

His other West End Theatre credits include Munkustrap in Cats, Miss Saigon at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and Harry in Crazy for You at the Prince Edward Theatre.

Craig directed and choreographed Strictly Ballroom the Musical, currently touring the UK and Ireland, and the 2016/17 tour of Sister Act the Musical and the Strictly Come Dancing Live tour. He also choreographed the film Paddington 2.

Scottish BAFTA winner Elaine C Smith and Jodie Prenger will join Craig to star as ‘Miss Hannigan’ at some venues, while the role of Annie will be shared by Zoe Akinyosade, Harlie Barthram and Poppy Cunningham.

Boris, Darcy and Lily with the Annies
Boris, Darcy and Lily with the Annies

They are joined by three teams of young performers who play the residents of Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. With the production well on its way, you can find behind-the-scenes footage on Instagram @anniethemusical.

So don’t miss your chance to witness the incredible talents of this talented cast, and with Urban Paws’ canine stars stealing the show, this production promises to be a must-see for audiences of all ages.

Making waves in the industry, Urban Paws, a pet modelling and acting agency, is dedicated to showcasing the unique talents and personalities of all the animals they work with.

Established by former model and reality TV star Layla Flaherty seven years ago, Urban Paws serves luxury brands and high-street names looking to add something special to their campaigns.

Annie and the young performers playing the residents of Miss Hannigan’s orphanage
Annie and the young performers playing the residents of Miss Hannigan’s orphanage

They work with animals of all shapes and sizes, including exotic, farm, and even dangerous animals. Through their expertise and passion for showcasing the best talent, Urban Paws is helping to reshape how brands approach animal representation in their campaigns.

“We’re thrilled to have Lily, Boris, and Darcy on board for this production of Annie,” says Layla Flaherty, Managing Director of Urban Paws UK. “Their talent, dedication, and unique personalities will bring a special magic to the stage, and we’re excited to see them shine.”

Annie is with us in Oxford between Monday 17 and Saturday 21 April. Visit the atgtickets website for more information on the Annie tour and to buy tickets for a date at a venue near you.

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