OUT of the gate and off for a walk went Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy…and into Salisbury’s City Hall, where an enthusiastic audience greeted him with much excitement.

Along with his friends Hercules Morse, Bottomley Potts, Bitzer Maloney, Muffin McLay and Schnitzel von Krumm, the favourite Lynley Dodd character played out the stories with narration and song from human characters, Miss Plum and Samuel Stone the butcher.

The canine cast (humans dressed as dogs) were quite convincing as they energetically bounded around the stage displaying each dog’s individual traits. It helped that most of the children and their adults were familiar with the books and characters from countless bedtime readings.

Audience participation was a crucial part of the show and this crowd of mainly under-6s were certainly up for joining in. Miss Plum and Samuel Stone did a sterling job of controlling proceedings and, at an hour long, it was just right for little attention spans.

The songs and music were so catchy, I found myself singing Hairy Maclary…from Donaldson’s Dairy all the way home, much to my five-year-old son’s amusement.

Christine Stock