A spaniel, pictured above, is mentioned in The Taming of the Shrew
Drama students at Bath Spa University are staging a special open audition, based on a TV talent show, for a their latest play.
The university's Full Tilt Theatre Company is looking for a dog to star in its production of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew.
The play's director, Terri Power, will be holding 'the Rex Factor' to find the perfect pooch.
Dog owners in the Bath area are invited to the auditions on April Fools' Day.
The Rex Factor will take place on Wednesday 1 April, 2009, in Abbey Square, Kingston Parade - next to Bath Abbey in the city centre - from 10.30am to 12.30pm.
At least one dog is required in Act 4 Scene 1 of The Taming of the Shrew - servants are told to fetch a pet spaniel, and when they return their master Petruchio asks crossly: "What dogs are these?"
Terri Power said: "Usually in a modern performance of the play no actual dog is brought on stage, but in Shakespeare's time they did so.
"They had a troupe of dogs specially trained to perform and do tricks or a jig as part of Elizabethan entertainment."
Terri says that he wants to recreate the experience of theatre as it was for audiences in Shakespeare's Globe.
Terri added: "For the Rex Factor we want only good natured dogs that can be handled by our actors and are available from the technical rehearsal on the evening of 1 April."
Anyone who wants to enter their dogs for the Rex Factor should book an audition time in advance; phone Terri on 01225 875711, or email
Full Tilt will perform The Taming of the Shrew as part of the first ever Bath Comedy Festival, which runs 1-12 April, 2009.
The play is being staged at the Bath Spa's university theatre from Thursday 2 April to Saturday 4 April.
The university students will later go on tour with the production, ending in performances at the Bristol Shakespeare Festival in July and at the Edinburgh Fringe in August.