Set in the violent world of Victorian boxing and the honour code of the Romany Gipsies, 'The Dog & The Elephant' is the compelling story of the unlikely kinship between young boxer Bendigo Barlow and 'Ina', an elephant from a Travelling Menagerie.

Bendigo's struggle to live with Tourette’s syndrome is made all the more difficult by fear and ignorance as he is violently shunned by those who simply don’t understand.

Bendigo's fractured life leads him on a brutal journey of destruction, retribution and ultimately revenge.


‘The Dog and The Elephant’ is an adaptation of Cuckoo Collective’s one-man stage play of the same name, written by Matt Grinter, and centers around a single tour de force performance by rising star Jack Johns.

Director Mike Sharpe first saw the play at VAULT Festival 2016 and felt compelled to approach the creators with regards making a film adaptation. After discussing his vision for the project, he was given the freedom to cut the script from its original one hour running time to a more manageable 25 minutes.

The film was shot by award-winning Cinematographer Nicholas Bennett. The use of black and white photography coupled with it’s stripped back visual style gives the film a cinematic quality whilst still retaining the much of the ‘theatre’ of the original play.


Mike Sharpe

Mike started his career working for acclaimed film director Paul Weiland. He then went on to set up creative content studio Found where he has directed commercials and music videos for global artists such as Take That, Pendulum & Ellie Goulding

In 2012 he was nominated for ‘Best New Director’ at the UKMVA’s and his music video for Ellie Goulding’s breakthrough single ‘Burn’ has earned over a billion views on YouTube and a Brit nomination for ‘Best Video’.

This is his debut short film.


Jack Johns

Jack trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and starred as ‘Bendigo Barlow’ in the original stage production. In 2014, Jack founded the Cuckoo Collective theatre company, along with writer Matt Grinter, specifically to produce and tour ‘The Dog & the Elephant’.

  • His theatre credits include:
  • Othello (Bussey Building)
  • *Nominated for 'Best Actor' Off West End Awards
  • Peter Panic (Pleasance)
  • Git (Rich Mix)
  • Through the Night (Finborough Theatre)
  • My Previous Self (Wardrobe Theatre)
  • Orphans (Trafalgar Studios)
  • Peer Gynt (The Yard Theatre)
  • Love’s Labour’s Lost (Circomedia, Bristol)
  • Cinderella (Redgrave Theatre, Bristol)
  • Something Out Of Nothing (Bristol Old Vic)


Matt Grinter

Matt is a writer and director working in both theatre and film. He was the winner of the Papatango Prize 2016 for his debut play ‘ORCA’, which will be be published by Nick Hern Books.

His second play ‘The Dog and The Elephant’ ran at the Bristol Old Vic Studio and Vault Fest, produced in conjunction with Ferment. Matt is currently one of the Open Session Writers on attachment at the Bristol Old Vic.

Matt is also the artistic director of Red Rope Theatre Company, which he formed in 2012 with actor-producer Rebecca Robson.


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We make captivating content that resonates with global audiences through the art of visual storytelling.

We’re imaginative, innovative and brave, amplifying your message across every platform in unexpected and memorable ways.

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