News Story

Taking centre stage in The Two Gentlemen of Verona this May... Rocky the Cockerpoo

Director of Two Gents, Sir Greg Doran, said that when coming up with the idea for this production, one of the most crucial decisions to made in the process was finding a real dog to play Crab.

The only dog to appear in a Shakespeare play, the canine companion of Launce (Proteus' assistant), is very similar to his master, in that he seems to like mischief! And though this might be the case on stage, our very own Rocky is nothing of the sort off stage...

In this Oxford University student production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Crab is played by the marmalade cockerpoo, Rocky. Calm and caring in nature, he has become a beloved figure at Oxford Playhouse, growing very familiar with backstage life as he rubs shoulders (and heads) with the crew.

Learning his lines, ready for opening night on Wednesday 15 May.

Named after the legendary fictional boxer Rocky Balboa, the cockerpoo is sure to be as much of a champ on stage as his namesake is in the ring!

Crab's Master, Launce, is played by English finalist Jo Rich, who says "It has been particularly special coming to grips with and working with a real dog for my character's pet!" The pair have been strengthening their on-stage chemistry by spending quality time outside of the rehearsal room, paw'ing over scripts and bonding over puppuccinos and strolls around St Catz.

When not in the theatre spotlight, Rocky enjoys the company of his feline best friend and cat-brother, Buster. Although Rocky is eager for Buster to watch his debut and to show off his brilliance on stage (thanks to the amazing direction from Sir Greg Doran, former Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company), it is unlikely that Buster will attend for purrsonal reasons. Buster has indicated he is not that bothered anyway.

We have high hopes that Rocky will shine in his debut performance at The Playhouse and snag the Best Supporting Actor title!

Preparing for his theatre debut in Sir Greg Doran's Two Gents