South Tyneside performers enter the spotlight for virtual lockdown talent showcase

Budding musicians in South Tyneside are lining up to enter the spotlight virtually.

By Sarah Sinclair
Thursday, 16th July 2020, 4:45 pm

The 13-year-old wanted to create more opportunities for young people to perform live in the borough.

But since the coronavirus lockdown in March, the weekly events held at Armstrong’s Bar in Stanhope Road have been cancelled and Daniel – with the help of dad Ian Curry – has had to find a new way to shine a light on local talent.

South Tyneside performers have been taking part in live streamed showcases during lockdown.

The father and son team set up the Into the Spotlight (from home) Covid-19 Support Group on Facebook, giving anyone – of any age - the chance to star in a live stream performance from home.

The group now has almost 400 members with dozens signing up to take part.

Running orders range from school children belting out numbers in their bedrooms to grown-up’s guitar solos, living room dance routines and even a blast of the church organ.

Ian said: “We wanted to keep the momentum of Into the Spotlight going but also to find a way to help the community support each other during the lockdown.

Daniel Curry launched the Into the Spotlight showcase last year.

"Anyone who wants to share their talent can do a live stream performance with us from the comfort and safety of their own home and take part in our group session weekly or as often as they want.

"I put a message out asking who would like to join us each week and then post a running order before the event.”

The group now has the backing of a number of local celebrity patrons, including Gateshead actor Michael McNally, magician and DJ Steve Keys and Hebburn performer Deborah Taylor-Smith – also known as Wor Vera – following her efforts entertaining care home residents throughout the pandemic.

Once restrictions are lifted and it is safe to do so, Ian and Daniel hope to take Into the Spotlight on the road visiting community groups and care homes in the borough.

Richard Hawley plays the keyboard and organ during the live performances.

Anyone interested in getting involved should contact Ian on 07758230834.

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