IF Sydney actress Michaela Williams had ever heard of the injunction against performing with animals, she was showing no signs of it this morning at a book “special morning tea for dogs” held by Free Rain Theatre Company at Yarralumla Gallery and Oaks Brasserie, one of the only two eateries in Canberra, owner Mira Bogojevic believes, that welcomes our furry friends.
Theatre-wise readers will suspect rightly that Canberra super-publicist Coralie Wood was behind this dog’s breakfast, intended to introduce Bruiser the chihuahua to both media and canine patrons. As Bogojevic rushed around with plates of biscuits, cheese and meat, there was also a chance for the Free Rain production team to check out candidates for the part of Rufus the bulldog.
Those theatre-wise readers will also have worked out by now that it’s all to do with Free Rain’s coming production of “Legally Blonde the Musical,” in which Williams gets to play Elle, the girl who uses her charms to get into Harvard Law School. A graduate of the Australian Institute of Music Williams has performed in the TV series “Dance Academy” and in “Pakemin’s Hairspray.”
Luckily, as she told “CityNews” this morning, she loves dogs.
Williams is one of two professional actors from Sydney who auditioned for roles with the company that is currently basking in the reflected light of its 2013 production of “The Phantom of the Opera”. They will be joined by some of the top musical theatre talent in Canberra.
Director of the show, Derek Walker, a NIDA graduate and former staffer at Canberra Grammar School, told those present that the show would open on July 4, agreeing that it was a fitting match to American Independence Day.
He explained that dogs, as well as humans, need doubles when they go into showbiz, and say they had already engaged at least three Bruisers.
Artistic director of Free Rain, Anne Somes, explained that the company was heading into a new era and expanding its niche to take in interstate acting in production talent.
As for the dogs – most of them had no chance because they seemed to be collies of various varieties – they were acting up for the cameras.
“Legally Blonde the musical” at the ANU Arts Centre, July 4-27, bookings to 6275 2700 or Canberratheatre centre.com.au