From the creators of hit local comedy, 7 Days, new series Hounds follows the fortunes of a shiftless lawyer, his half-sister and an alcoholic dog trainer who are trying to live under one roof and make good on the track.
Will (Toby Sharpe) is struggling at his law firm. His heart isn’t in it and he is making mistakes at work. But one day everything changes. His Dad dies, leaving him half a house; a half-sister Lily (Susana Tang); a greyhound racing dog; and its unpredictable trainer Marty (Mick Innes).
Although he is now supposed to be Lily’s guardian, Will is pretty unenthusiastic about the role. Fortunately for him, Lily is 12 going on 20. She ran her father’s greyhound business and cared for her Dad following her mother’s death. She’s also quick to realise that she might have to look after her Peter Pan half-brother more than he looks after her.
Marty has been a trainer all his life and, for all his strange theories, he is very, very good at it. He will look after the dog and Lily to his dying day. He’s just not legally allowed to. That’s where Will comes in. Marty needs Will to want to stay Lily’s guardian, live in the house, and keep the dog. So he’s pleased when Will moves in; and like Lily, a bit concerned when the first thing Will does is consult a valuer.
Just when it appears that the three mismatched characters will combust, they find the one thing they have in common – hounds – and it pulls them together just enough to cohabitate as a funny, warm and wryly inappropriate family.
Local actor Toby Sharpe has played all types during his ten years in acting – from a ‘Speedo cop’ on Moon TV to a Russian spy. So he didn’t have any qualms about playing such a self-absorbed and directionless character.“As far as playing the actual character of Will goes, it wasn't so hard; Will can be bit of dick which is a quality I have. To be honest, I probably have more in common with Will than any other role I've had, which is a bit sad.”
Sharpe had a ball working with the cast and crew of Hounds. “I would say the best thing about playing Will, would be working with the people on Hounds. Incredibly talented. Crazy talented. I know everyone says that about the cast they've just worked with, but in this case it's true.”It wasn’t all fun and games though.“Acting with a farting dog in a confined space for a few hours stays will stay with me for a long time,” laughs Sharpe.
Writer/director Jarrod Holt says that Sharpe really nailed the character right from the first take. “As Toby says, Will is a selfish prick. But we didn’t want the audience to completely despise him and want him dead. Luckily, Toby was brilliant and with Susana’s character Lily sparking a tiny glimmer of humanity in him, it all worked out better than we could have hoped.”
“It turned out great,” agrees Nigel McCulloch who, along with Ryan Hutchings, also writes for and directs the series. “Seriously, if you like The Castle, you’ll like this. The show has it all. Humour, working-class heroes and, of course, dogs.”
“If you don’t like dogs, you might like watching a lawyer vomit over a jacket made completely from the satin ribbons you get if you win at a greyhound race,” says Hutchings. “There’s something for everyone. Check it out.”