Panto star pampered before opening night at Georgian Theatre Royal

Jackson is given a makeover from the team at The Groom Room, Catterick Garrison, in preparation for his role as Toto in The Georgian Theatre Royal’s pantomime The Wizard of Oz. Pictured from left to right are Sandra Heeney, Poppy Wilbor, Laura Henry, Melissa Smith and Nikki Takacs with actress Freya Mawhinney who is playing Dorothy.

Opening night is a big deal for any actor but how do you prepare to take centre stage if you are of the canine variety?

To help three-year-old Cockapoo, Jackson, get show-ready for his role as Toto in The Georgian Theatre Royal’s pantomime, The Wizard of Oz, The Groom Room, based at Pets at Home, Catterick Garrison, treated the canine star to a full spa and groom.

The exclusive session involved a shampoo, blow-dry, coat clip and nail trim to ensure that this talented pooch looked his absolute best when the curtain went up for the show’s first performance on Thursday.

This story continues after the adverts:


“Cockapoos are a breed that do need regular trimming and grooming to keep their coats in top condition,” said co-star Freya Mawhinney (Dorothy) who accompanied Jackson on his visit.

“Jackson really enjoyed having lots of fuss made of him during his grooming session and he looks particularly smart for the opening performance,” she added.

“We get dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds visiting us for treatments but we have never had a celebrity before!” said Poppy Wilbor, Manager at The Groom Room.

“Jackson took the whole thing in his stride and was every inch the star.”

There are over 50 performances of The Wizard of Oz, which runs from Thursday 7 December 2017 until Sunday 7 January 2018.

Tickets, from £8 to £22, are available from the Box Office on 01748 825252 or via the online booking service at