A globetrotting beagle set on his way by actress and animal rights supporter Joanne Lumley has made the latest stop in his journey – on stage in Stevenage.

The Comet: Joanna Lumley, Dr Hadwen Trust patronJoanna Lumley, Dr Hadwen Trust patron (Image: Archant)

Hadwen the beagle is the cuddly mascot of the Hitchin-based non-animal research charity the Dr Hadwen Trust, and his long-distance mission was to raise awareness about the charity’s work.

Supporters were asked to take a selfie with Hadwen at an interesting landmark or event or with a celebrity, which led to the beagle’s walk-on part in Aladdin at the Gordon Craig Theatre, where he was welcomed by former EastEnders and Extras star Shaun Williamson, dame and Stevenage panto stalwart Paul Laidlaw and other members of the cast.

His travels have taken him as far afield as California, where he visited the Beagle Freedom Project which finds new homes for dogs which have been liberated from laboratories.

The Trust’s head of operations Dr Kay Miller said: “We are very grateful to our lovely patron, Joanna Lumley, for launching Hadwen’s Journey.

“We hoped that Hadwen would become famous through social media whilst making people aware of the brilliant medical research that can take place without using animals.”

You can find out more about the charity’s work online at www.drhadwentrust.org.