Media Release: ‘Do put your collie on the stage, Mrs Worthington!’


EDINBURGH dog owners have been asked to audition their collie dogs for a starring role in the world premiere of Alexander McCall Smith’s ‘The World According to Bertie’, at the Edinburgh Fringe in August.


The casting of Cyril, the Border Collie, for the World Premiere of the first-ever stage adaptation of The World According to Bertie (from the popular 44, Scotland Street series of novels by legendary Edinburgh novelist, Alexander McCall Smith) being performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August.

Andy Jordan Productions, the producers of The World According To Bertie, are looking for an Edinburgh-based black and white Border Collie to play Cyril, ‘the very smiley dog from Drummond Place that belongs to Angus Lordie, who paints pictures and smells of turpentine’.

The dog should be, as far as possible, calm and enthusiastic with a very waggy tail; and not likely to be phased by stagelights or laughter, clapping and general audience reactions!

There will be two performances a night of the show, and the winning Cyril will be on stage for two, five-minute appearances at approximately 8.20pm and 9:45pm every evening from 3 to 29 August (not 15).

The owner / handler must be prepared to commit to this – bringing the dog in and taking it home at the end of the night.

Date of audition: Sunday, 31 July 2011

Time of audition: 4pm – 6pm

Location of audition: Adam House, Chambers Street, EH1 1HR

Contact for audition: Louis Hartshorn, 07793 726331, or Andy Jordan 07775 615205

Applications for auditions: Anyone interested in attending the audition with their pets should email Louis Hartshorn in advance –

The prize for the winning Cyril:

In return for treading the boards of the Edinburgh Fringe, Fergusons Pet Supplies Ltd ( of Tranent, East Lothian, are supplying a six months supply (four adult 12kg bags) of Barking Heads dog food (, a down-to-earth easy to understand ultra-premium dry dog food that only contains bundles of the best quality, all natural healthy ingredients, worth £159.99.

The owner will also receive a number of free tickets to the show.

Louise Ferguson, director of Fergusons Pet Supplies, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for a Border Collie to get involved in this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

“Barking Heads is a great dog food – it’s hypo-allergenic and has a very high meat content, a minimum of 50 per cent. Dogs seem to love it and we sell a lot of it in our shop and through our online store. This will be a great treat for the winning Cyril. Best of luck to all those dogs who audition.”


Media contact:
Paddy Cuthbert – Podge Publicity – T: 07968 699636 / E:

Notes to editors:
More information about Cyril:

Quotes from ‘The World According to Bertie':

“Cyril barked once or twice, but for the most part accepted the fuss calmly and with dignity. Unfamiliar hands ruffled the fur on his head, stroked him, patted him vigorously on the back; all of which he took in his stride, for this is what humans do to dogs, and Cyril understood his place.”

“There is a dog who lives in Drummond Place. He belongs to a man called Mr. Lordie who paints pictures and smells of turpentine. He is called Cyril and he has a gold tooth. When he opens his mouth to stick out his tongue you can see the gold tooth inside. He is a very smiley dog, and everyone in Scotland Street, where I live, likes him, except for Mummy, because Cyril bit her when she called him bad and smelly. He was arrested for biting other people, but it was not him, and they got him out of the pound before they shot him. Now he is back and can go to the Cumberland Bar again.” – Bertie

Further information

Legendary author, Alexander McCall Smith’s groundbreaking 44, Scotland Street series has been adapted for the stage for the very first time and will be staged at the 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

C Venues (C SoCo Studio 2A), Chambers Street, will host Andy Jordan Productions’ large-scale, yet intimate, promenade production of The World According to Bertie, the fourth installment of the popular series that delves into the recognisable lives of a group of Edinburgh New Town inhabitants, from Thursday 4th to Monday 29th August.

The world premiere of The World According to Bertie, first serialised in The Scotsman, promises an unforgettable evening in the company of young Bertie as he struggles to escape his yoga lessons and pink bedroom, alongside his perfectionist and overbearing mum Irene, raffish painter, Angus, whose dog, Cyril, is under threat, and McCall Smith’s many other colourful characters.

Bertie dreams of fried Mars Bars and having a dog while his mother insists on psychoanalysis.

Everyone is seeking peace of mind and, above all, love.

The ensemble cast of actors – the actors are all from Scotland, and many of them are Edinburgh-based – bring to life the many memorable characters that McCall Smith so famously created with such humour and humanity for the 44, Scotland Street series.  Insufferably handsome Bruce, gorgeous but dim heiress Julia, indecisive Pat, the eminent Dr Fairbairn, bossy Domenica, and hopeless romantic Matthew all make an appearance.

The play is very true to the novel, telling the stories of the major characters exactly as McCall Smith has them in his book. Linking the various stories, including Bertie’s, are the themes of friendship and love. Under its bright and light-hearted surface, the play raises deep moral issues.

Most central of these is how best to raise one’s children in a very demanding and confusing world.

And where can deep friendship, enduring love, and some degree of happiness, be found in the complex world of bustle and conflicting relations we live in.

The deep humanism in McCall’s Smith’s story is based on the belief that life is at one and the same time ordinary and precious, and that these two truths are intimately connected.

Listings information:

The World Premiere of The World According to Bertie
Adapted from Alexander McCall Smith’s novel
by Lydia Bruce & Sandy Burns
Directed by Warren Hooper
Designed by Belinda Ackermann
Produced by Andy Jordan
Venue: studio 2a, C SoCo (venue 348), at CVenues, Adam House, Chambers Street, EH1 1HR
Dates: 4 – 29 Aug (not 15)
Performance Times:
Two performances per day – 19:20 and 21:00 (1hr20)
Ticket Prices:  £12.50-£10.50 (£10.50-£8.50)
Box Office:
Fringe Box Office: +44 (0)131 226 0000 /

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Contact: Paddy Cuthbert
Phone: 07968699636
Website: http://www.