Sunderland dog laps up star treatment for leading role in Legally Blonde

Doggie Diner Sunderland give Sunderland Empire Legally Blonde show local dog star Frankie a pampering.'From left Abbie Gibson, owner Gill Gibson and Stephanie Robinson
Doggie Diner Sunderland give Sunderland Empire Legally Blonde show local dog star Frankie a pampering.'From left Abbie Gibson, owner Gill Gibson and Stephanie Robinson

Putting in a show-stealing performance is all in a day’s work for Sunderland dog Frank Frater.

Despite being just 18-months-old, the Bulldog from Chapel Garth is already enjoying the trappings of his first lead role in Legally Blonde the musical.

Doggie Diner Sunderland give Sunderland Empire Legally Blonde show local dog star Frankie a pampering.'From left owner Gill Gibson, Abbie Gibson and Stephanie Robinson

Doggie Diner Sunderland give Sunderland Empire Legally Blonde show local dog star Frankie a pampering.'From left owner Gill Gibson, Abbie Gibson and Stephanie Robinson

Frank’s star potential was spotted at auditions held earlier this year and now he’s starring in the Wearside leg of the tour, which is running at Sunderland Empire all this week.

Frank, who stars as Rufus in the musical spin-off of the hit film, took a break from treading the boards for a well-earned pamper at The Doggie Diner in Sea Road, Fulwell.

Owner Anne-Marie Frater said: “Frank has never done anything like this before and we couldn’t believe it when he was successful with the auditions. He has taken to the role really well and it’s been great to see him in the show.

“We’ve been backstage with him and at first he wasn’t keen on the trailer that he has to come out off in the show, but as you can see from today he will do anything for a treat, so that did the trick to reassure him.”

Adrienne Dickson, director at Doggie Diner Franchise Ltd, said: “We have enjoyed welcoming Frank, and in true VIP style, serving him our very special doggie afternoon tea washed down with the finest bottle of Pawsecco”.

Frank is starring alongside EastEnders’ Rita Simons, Lucie Jones, who represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest last year, and Bill Ward, famous for his roles in Coronation Street and Emmerdale, in the romantic comedy.

Based on the 2001 film starring Reese Witherspoon, it tells the story of college sweetheart and homecoming queen Elle Woods who doesn’t take no for an answer.

When her boyfriend dumps her for someone more serious, Elle puts down the credit card, hits the books and heads for Harvard Law School. Along the way, Elle proves that being true to yourself never goes out of style.

Legally Blonde The Musical has earned seven Tony nominations and 10 Drama Desk Award nominations during its Broadway run. In the UK it was nominated for five Laurence Olivier Awards winning three, including Best New Musical, and was nominated for eight Whatsonstage Awards, winning four including Best Musical.

•Legally Blonde the musical is at Sunderland Empire until Saturday.