The West End is calling for Carrickfergus performer and singer Robbie McMinn

A young Carrickfergus performer will take his dream of a professional career a step closer in London’s West End next weekend.

Robbie McMinn, a pupil at Carrickfergus Grammar School, has reached the final of West End Calling.

It follows a visit to Northern Ireland by the London-based company on the hunt for local young performers.

Robbie (15), who is no stranger to the stage having taken the title role in a Grand Opera House youth production of Bugsy Malone, will showcase his talent at Charing Cross Theatre on Sunday, December 12.

Robbie (centre) with semi-final judges David O’Reilly (left), West End actor/Benidorm TV show and Patrick George, currently on tour as principal character in The Book of Mormon.

He said: “I am really excited to be taking part in the grand final and I’m really thankful for the opportunity. I have waited two years to finally advance to the semis and to be chosen to go on to the grand final is a dream come true. Hard work starts now and I can’t wait to get to London.”

As well as rehearsing and performing - Uncle Fester and the Artful Dodger are other roles at which he has excelled - Robbie also loves to turn out for the school rugby team.

West End Calling is a competition for aspiring musical performers and winners receive prizes designed to further develop their craft. Regardless of who lands the prizes, Robbie feels he is already a winner by progressing to the latter stages of this nationwide event.

“The opportunity to perform in front of West End judges and some of your favourite stars is phenomenal and an experience not many get to feel,” added Robbie.

And his proud family who will be travelling to London - including granny Margaret Smyth - echo that sentiment.

Mum Gayle said: “Robbie’s dad (Gary), his sister Kacie and I are extremely proud off Robbie, he has always loved performing and singing and has been part of some amazing productions so far but this is something else. To have actual West End actors judging and giving feedback on him is so inspiring.

“We as a family owe a lot to Megan Mooney (soprano) from Templepatrick, she is an amazing singing teacher and has coached Robbie for the past few years. He has now reached grade 6 in Musical Theatre and passed with distinction. We are very fortunate to know Megan, she is like one of the family and has been an amazing mentor to Robbie.”

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Click here to read: Carrickfergus student takes centre stage at the Grand Opera House