Page 3 Profile: Danny the dog, thespian canine


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Hasn’t Crufts finished for this year?

Danny the dog has won a very different kind of ‘best in show’. The 12-year-old terrier from Telford has just earned himself a Guinness World Record for the “most stage appearances by a dog for the same role”.

He looks a little large to be Toto...

He appeared as Sandy in the touring production of Annie for a full decade, clocking up 1,365 performances. It’s an incredible feat when you think about it: no human could possibly endure 1,365 renditions of “Tomorrow”. Nor, let’s be honest, could they sustain the necessary interest in the tawdry sob stories of a flame-haired, shrill-voiced orphan.

But his owner must be chuffed?

Rita Mansell told The Stage that the news hasn’t “sunk in yet”. Danny, she said, is “a soft-coated, wheaten terrier and they are lovely dogs. He took to the theatre at seven months old and never stopped.” One of his favourite cast members was the eccentric Su Pollard, who “tickled him under his chin” every night. Mansell has rewarded him with some organic food and “lovely” meals. She added that the 1,365 is a bit misleading, as it doesn’t count his run of amateur performances. Danny was only presented with the certificate confirming his record after 18 months of checks, including written statements from his colleagues.

Is Danny as enthused as his owner?

There is a 30-second clip on YouTube showing Danny alongside his award. His owner tries to bring his attention to the framed certificate, but the dog looks profoundly disinterested. At least you can tell the success won’t go to his head.

Where can I see him in action?

Danny retired from professional shows two years ago, but he’s still putting in the odd appearance in amateur productions across the country.