Dunluce has Talent

Bushmills was star struck at the weekend as the pupils and staff from Dunluce School performed ‘Dunluce has Talent 2017’


In line with TV talent shows such as ‘X Factor’ and ‘Strictly’ the audience were given the responsibility of selecting Dunluce’s biggest talent.

Matthew Edgar, winner of the matinee performance, was thrilled to be holding the trophy and taking home the cash prize, “There was well over 300 kids from local primary schools on Thursday; so to win the audience vote was just amazing.”

Matthew was the opening act of the show and was playing a medley of Northern Ireland Football anthems – with a little help from Dunluce’s very own Green and White Army, the school choir.  The choir also performed a song of their own, Coldplay’s ‘Something Just Like This’ They took the runner’s up prize on Friday night, generously donating their prize money to the British Heart Foundation.

The other acts included solos from singers Cherie Moorehead and Billie-Jo Nethry (who also joined forces to sing a duet from the Broadway hit ‘Wicked’)  Cherie explained why she was keen to take part in the show:  “I really enjoy singing and love performing on stage.  The audience were amazing and really helped me lift my performance.  It was a great opportunity to experience a live performance as it is something I would love to do more in the future.

There was plenty of dancing as well as the singing, with Katie Parke (Irish dancing), Louise Gault (ballet), The Dunluce Dancers (contemporary dance) and The Cowgirls (line dancing) showing off their moves.

The Drama club also got in on the act with four separate groups, involving pupils from years 9 to 12.  ‘The Staffroom’ shed a whole new light on what teachers get up to at break and lunchtime when no one’s looking.  Pippa McCullagh, who played the part of Mrs McIlveen, was initially a little concerned that the Dunluce teachers would react badly to being sent-up: “We had been worried that some of them may take things badly as some of the portrayals were quite near to the knuckle, but we were confident that they had enough of a sense of humour to know that it was all in good fun.  It turns out they all loved it.  We were talking about what it would be like to be a teacher and what actually happens in the staff room and suddenly thought it would make a really funny scene for the show.  The audience’s response was unbelievable – we wondered if they would get some of the ‘in’ jokes; but their laughter made it all worthwhile.”

The winning act, however, was truly unique.  Andrew Smyth, Josh Dunlop, Ross Irwin and Joshua Gray set up ‘Lightning Sticks’ a drum ensemble with a difference; they performed their entire set in pitch dark, with only their illuminated drum sticks visible to the crowd.  One of the quartet, Josh Dunlop, described his surprise when their name was called out: “There were so many amazing acts and any one of them could have won the title.  I’m really proud of what we achieved.  We devised the routine ourselves and put in a huge amount of rehearsals.  We wanted it to be perfect.

Mr Lutton had nothing but praise for all involved, “There were 68 pupils involved in ‘Dunluce Has Talent’ and we were so glad to give them the opportunity to develop and display their talents to such enthusiastic audiences.  All the pupils did themselves and their school proud and we hope this is a springboard for some of them to continue performing in the future.”

You should be able to watch the winning act below shortly. The less said about the staff act the better (but here’s the video for those who missed it)