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September 13th, 2017.

A house fire in Cissbury Avenue, Peacehaven last night, has claimed the life of a beloved family pet who was due to play the role of 'Sandy' in the Seaford Musical Theatre production of Annie, starting next week.

Spirit, a sandy coloured lurcher, had been rehearsing with Annie and the Orphans for the past eight weeks and the children in the cast are devastated with the loss of their friendly cast mate.

Director Tony Betts said: "We will be holding a collection at the end of each performance to donate to Spirit's owner who has lost not only her home and possessions but her best friend too. It won't make up for her loss, but we hope it will help with any immediate needs she may have.

"Spirit's understudy, Hector, will take her place in the show, but Spirit will always be in our hearts."

Pictured: Spirit with the two 'Annie's' during rehearsals in August.