What the papers have to say about PUSS IN BOOTS

Spalding Guardian 25th January 2014

"The great things about pantos is the scope they give you to mess about.

Yes, there’s only a handful of them and you have a basic plot to work to, but the bits and pieces along the way are all yours... and that’s where the Bourne-based Hurst Children’s Theatre Group came into their own with this production. I am sure in the original story there were no singing fleas – played here so adorably by the very youngest members of the group.

And if the giant was actually about four foot nothing back in the day, I was certainly unaware. And Gollum! I’m sure Tolkein’s slimiest character wasn’t in the original, but he gave us all plenty of laughs on Saturday.

But what I liked most of all was the insistence from the start that this wasn’t real and that all the young actors never pretended it was. From the hilarious peasants, doing whatever they were told in the hope that they might progress to become villagers in the next production, to the giant getting his “Fee, fi, fo, fum” rhyme wrong and having to be corrected by other members of the cast.

Another break from tradition was the lack of “He’s behind yous”, and there were only a few “Oh no he isn’ts” thrown in at the end for a laugh. The only adult in the show was absolutely hilarious – who doesn’t love a pantomime dame with a moustache, screaming in a falsetto and handing out sweets?

And the good old singalongs were in abundance too, with old time classics such as “Me Ol’ Bamboo” and “Underneath the Armpits(!!) to the Dean Martin classic “How Do You Like Your Eggs”, reinstated to fame by the Chris Evans Breakfast Show.

All in all, a great afternoon of family fun."
Jeremy Ransome, Editor



Spalding Guardian: Published on 24th January 2012 

"SNOW White and the Seven Dwarves was bought to life last weekend at the South Holland Centre, Spalding by the Hurst Children’s Theatre Group, Bourne writes LIZ MCMURRAY.

The cast aged from 4-16, directed by Bryony Hurst were a joy to watch acting out the classic fairytale with a few added extras, an eighth dwarf called Grotty and a Prince called Kermit. The script, written specifically for the children by the director’s father, Mike Hurst, showcased their talents brilliantly and was enjoyed by all.

There was plenty of audience participation and all actors/actresses were confident in the delivery of their lines and actions.

The National Elf Service were described as “cheeky fairies” by my daughter who was kept entertained throughout watching the girls and boys dancing, singing and enjoying themselves on the stage.

The audience was packed with proud parents, grandparents and friends and quite deservedly so, every child had a smile on their face and looked as if they thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience."

What the kids have to say:


"Bryony is very kind and nice and I think that this theatre group is a brilliant opportunity for people to get better at singing dancing and acting. I am much better and louder than when I started. Its brilliant fun and I have made lots of new friends and I love it when we do the show and pantomimes. I like the costumes and being on stage and I feel all warm and excited when the audience cheer and clap." - Alfie Brown, aged 7
I really enjoy going to the Hurst Childrens Theatre Group because it is so much fun and I've made so many new friends. I've done 11 shows and i'm still here because I love the sense of achievement after going on stage - especially in roles such as one of the ugly step sisters and a knight! I also love going to drama because of Bryony , i've known her since I was about 7 and she is such a fantastic teacher and has taught me so much!'
- Lauren Wisker aged 14
 “I've been attending Hurst Childrens Theatre Group for a number of years and it has helped improve my confidence so much through Bryony’s help and the drama exercises we do during some sessions. The drama group has a very relaxed, calm and welcoming environment and everyone there is so friendly and easy to get along with. I always have a fantastic time performing with everyone in the group and always have a great sense of achievement after the shows.” - Charlotte Wisker aged 14

What the parents have to say
"I just wanted to share something with you that occurred last night at the clic club in the hall. The Salvation Army organised an end of year party and show, and the children entertained all the helpers and families. Kitty performed her own little showpiece. She was singing, dancing and acting out her own story, she just made up as she went along. This carried on for 10-15 minutes, in her own little world and totally oblivious of us all watching her. It was very sweet and I was so proud of her. She received some lovely comments.

Much of this is down to you for bringing it out in her, so thank you." -  Teresa Long, mother of Kitty aged 8
"My son joined HCTG in Easter 2013 when he was just four years old. He was a very shy child but always seemed more confident when pretending to be something or someone else. I had heard wonderful things about Bryony and her theatre group and decided to take Oscar along to see if we could build on his confidence in everyday situations. I can hand on heart say it is the best thing I have ever done for him. He was nervous and very apprehensive at first but Bryony always encouraged him and never, ever pushed him or made him feel uncomfortable. This all changed after his first show in July 2013. He absolutely loved it and couldn't wait for the next term to start so he could do it all over again. Even being the only boy in his class no longer put him off going each week. Whilst learning the songs and his lines for Puss in Boots he constantly asked when it was going to be time for us all to watch the show. He didn't even mind spending his fifth birthday at the dress rehearsal! Overall, Oscar has become a much more confident child and is never afraid to put his hand up to answer a question at school. He even played the main part in his first school nativity play which I never thought he would ever do. He no longer hides behind me when a stranger speaks to him and in fact, this weekend even volunteered to help with an experiment in front of an audience at the London Science Museum. I can not thank Bryony enough for encouraging my quiet little boy to come out of his shell. There is never any pressure to be perfect, just to enjoy what he is doing and do his best. I can not recommend HCTG Bourne enough. Whether your child is a natural performer or painfully shy, I am confident they will love it." - Rebecca Bell