The run up to Reading Operatic Society’s performance of Oliver! at The Hexagon in Reading, Berkshire, is proving busy for all members of the cast. Not least the female actor playing Bulls Eye who is neatly reversing a long tradition in the theatre by being a woman playing a man’s role.
We caught up with Kiara in a recent break between walks. Here she explains what is involved in taking a starring role in Oliver! – Lionel Bart’s famous musical
“Whilst my stage name is Bulls Eye my real name is Kiara and I am six years old and this will be my first time on stage (encouraged by Corinna Bartle who is also in the show). I also live harmoniously with some step-brothers and sisters; two cats, two rabbits and a tortoise!
“I was very excited to accept the role after being auditioned by Director Matt Whitelock and the cast to see if I could take directions and not bite or growl when annoyed. Whilst I may find it a little stressful initially, with all the noises from the band and the strange lighting, I promise not to suffer stage fright but I hope the two poodles who are also appearing will not up stage me with their good looks and grooming. Okay, I know I am not a pretty dog but I do have a lovely personality and will get on well with everyone.
“Am I a show off? Well, what girl doesn’t respond to a little fuss and attention? I am practicing the ‘walk ‘ when I go out for my daily stroll but will probably have to take acting lessons on how to look fearsome (I am relying on Richard Bott who is playing Bill Sykes to show me how to engage with the audience and look menacing. I’m told that Richard will look after me and give me nice carrot sticks if I am a good girl).
“Playing a male role does not concern me – Bulls Eye could be a unisex name, but I am not too happy about being kept backstage in my cage away from the cast just in case they might give me treats. They have to be frightened of me so it might be a little lonely between scenes. I am going to be supplied with a special costume –red and white spotted scarf that the costume lady promises it will fit perfectly – whoopee!
“I know that I have to be careful with my toilet habits and undertake not to have more little accidents as I did when I heard I had got the role (that can be excused as excitement ). As an English Bull Terrier I have always been taught to behave with impeccable good manners.
“I am interested to see that Stacey will be Signing for the Deaf at Friday’s performance but I promise to ignore any signs that might look like ‘come here –good girl.
“Because I am a quick learner, Matt says he expects and hopes I will receive a wonderful round of ‘a paws’ at the end of the show!”
Don’t miss Kiara playing Bulls Eye in Oliver! at the Hexagon, Reading, Berkshire – further details here.