You don’t have to be a dog-lover to enjoy this show, though you may be by the end. Entering the theatre space was a slow process, as friendly performer Victoria Melody and her dog greeted everyone individually as they came in.
Major Tom, the stubborn Basset hound after whom the show is named, is one of the most hilarious presences ever seen on stage.
Instructed brightly to lie in his bed, he turned to the audience as if to say, “You see what I have to put up with”, rolled his eyes and begrudgingly made a pathetic effort to climb onto the duvet by leaning on it – before stubbornly slumping next to it to sleep.
Melody tells the story of entering Major into competitive dog shows, and how she felt so guilty at putting him through the judging process that she decided to do the same, turning herself into an unlikely beauty queen, making increasingly embarrassing public appearances as Mrs Brighton.
Her gentle humour as she used video, costume and reminiscences to share these strange subcultures was affectionate rather than critical, and the audience rocked with helpless laughter.