Alun De Pughe recalls "super slick" Norton's Got Talent: Last Thursday my family and I made our way to Norton Hill Secondary School, stomping our way through the frosty leaves and braving the chilly autumnal air to support our son and his fellow students in an evening of music, dance and theatre. 

From the moment we entered and picked up our programmes we came to find the whole “Norton’s Got Talent” show to be a super slick, incredibly professional set-up. The room was arranged so that the audience sat along the length of the hall, allowing room for two large stages and, between them, a spot for a piano and microphone (utilised primarily for soloists). This set-up was a stroke of genius meaning that the audience's attention would move from area to area, removing any awkwardness of the shifting or replacing of instruments or backline when a dance or musical troupe would hit the stage. 

The two students acting as comperes were fantastically funny, ensuring that the evening always zipped along nicely whilst the staff seemed to be enjoying themselves throughout. All this is great, but what about the actual talent? Good question. Well the happy news is that every single act was truly, truly wonderful. The theatre pieces were brilliantly performed (the Peter Pan/ Captain Hook skits were especially enjoyable), the dancing energetic and fantastically choreographed and then the music - oh the music! Act after act stepped up, some more experienced than others, but each a joy to watch and listen to. Covers of classic songs were thoughtfully reimagined and performed whilst the standard of the students’ original compositions would put the Top 40 to shame. Pop, rock, classical, soul and jazz - Thursday had it all. 

One of the many things that the Town Council wants to really push and celebrate is Midsomer Norton’s amazing art, music and drama credentials (as hopefully seen at this year’s amazing summer events). Thursday evening filled my heart with confidence that this crusade is not just worthy but also that the standard of excellence in the performing arts, even at secondary school age, is something that we, as a town, clearly do very well indeed. 

With our Town Hall project very much coming towards completion, our Town Park’s amphitheatre area begging to be used for theatre and some big ideas for the future of the Somer Centre being discussed, I look forward to seeing these young actors and musicians (as well as those from the other wonderful faculties in the area) performing outside of a school environment. 

Congratulations and thanks to Norton Hill’s staff for a brilliant showcase. My son went home elated, my daughter was inspired and I couldn’t have felt more satisfied if I’d just got back from Glastonbury music festival. 

Norton, it would seem, really does have talent.

Alun De Pughe