Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Ashling Quirke and her daughters Ava and Abbie were pictured at the Spotlight Stage School’s show  ‘Brand New Day’ in Rathwood, Tullow. Photos:

Gareth and Aideen McLoughlin and their daughter Evie 

At the Spotlight Stage School presentation of ‘Brand New Day’ in Rathwood, Tullow were Noeleen Smullen, Rita Foley and Christopher and Susan Maguire. 

Davina and Pat Smullen and Catherine Bolger

Alan and Ellie Murphy and Valerie and Liam Kelly

Jenny and Martin Byrne

Trevor, Faith and Chloe Whelan and Jack Brennan

Members of the Evans, O’Connors and Kavanagh families were pictured at the Spotlight Stage School show

Members of the Spotlight Stage School

The 9-11 age group dance to their pop medley


The Teeny Tots group

The Teeny Tots group with Emmy Nolan as Peter Pan

The Teeny Tots group 

Clodagh Ryan

The 12 to 14 age group performing during the Spotlight Stage School presentation of ‘Brand New Day’ in Rathwood

 Spotlight Stage School in ‘Brand New Day’ 

The large attendance pictured during the Spotlight Stage School show

The 12 to 14 age group


Sarah Doyle, Lexie Willoughby and Chloe Lee who performed with the Spotlight Stage School presentation of ‘Brand New Day’ in Rathwood


By Suzanne Pender

JOHNNY Logan, Dana and even Cheryl Baker from Bucks Fizz couldn’t resist getting in on the act for Spotlight Stage School’s fantastic show Brand New Day.

The show was staged over six performances at the Big Top at Rathwood last week, absolutely thrilling audiences with its incredible energy and talent. From tiny tots right up to senior students, the professionalism and extraordinary abilities of all involved was worthy of anything that would be seen in the Bord Gais Theatre or London’s West End!

Much-loved musicals, from classics such as Matilda and Hairspray to newer shows such as Jamie or Come From Away were performed with tremendous flair throughout.

The adorable tiny tots were one of the real highlights, belying their tender years to take to the stage like true pros. Each age group worked very hard to perfect their segment, with the uplifting opening number Brand New Day also combining a recorded video, which set the tone for a wonderful show.

Special mention, too, for the opening to the second half of Brand New Day, with a performance of ‘Ciarán’s Crew’ combining amazing dance skills, incredible energy and lots of humour.

Beautiful costumes lit up the stage, an enormous task to have each of the huge cast looking amazing for every number.

The show ended with a Eurovision medley, which featured lots of good luck messages to Spotlight from former Eurovision winners, including Johnny Logan, Paul Harrington and Bucks Fizz member Cheryl Baker.

Spotlight Stage School is run by Ciara Armstrong and Stuart O’Connor, who put their heart and soul into the school to bring out the very best in their many students. For almost three decades they have run Spotlight Stage School in Carlow, finding and honing the skills of some incredibly talented youngsters over the years, instilling confidence and giving children wonderful opportunities to perform.

The final night of Brand New Day was a particularly special one for Ciara, who celebrated her 50th birthday and was surprised at the end of the show with a birthday cake, balloons and even a crown and sash.

Ciara and Stuart are joined by fantastic teachers Julie Reilly, Ciaran Keating, David Doyle and Natasha Hanlon.

Senior student Molly McLoughlin reflected the feelings of all involved in Spotlight when she thanked Stuart and Ciara for all the wonderful opportunities to perform, the many wonderful memories and the wonderful friendships made that are very much part of the Spotlight family.

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