The Hurst Children's Theatre Group prides itself on being personality driven. We are a family business and as such we do not have franchises all over the country.  What we offer is original and by keeping numbers limited, are able to give individual attention.  ALL the children are involved in everything we do, all the way through.  There are no exams or auditions with us; we just want the children to have free expression and the opportunity to do something different whilst having a lot of fun.

With the aid of drama games and exercises, we work with the students to build and develop confidence and oral proficiency. Teamwork is one aspect of putting on a show, and the classes get to know one another well through these exercises. Once the term is underway, the students begin working with the script.

For anyone hoping to go on the stage, singing plays a very important role. As this is a Theatre Group, we cover all aspects. The songs are often from the old music-hall days of yesteryear, but can also include some fun rock and roll and modern style songs. Lots of the children have lovely voices but are often too shy to sing out loud. With the Theatre Group, my aim is to nurture their hidden talents.

Modern and tap are both styles that we incorporate into the classes. It is kept quite simple so even those who have never danced before can try it. Dancing is another fantastic way of learning to keep time and the aim is to appeal to both boys and girls.  Occasionally we have a dancer come in to teach the older students modern dance routines to the likes of Lady Gaga and Rhianna!

The starting age is 4, rising in different aged groups to approximately 16. The classes are suitable for both boys and girls. The songs are generally good old musical tunes from yesteryear and Broadway classics. Occasionally a modern number or two is thrown in (Dance With Me Tonight, The Lazy Song) The dances are NOT girly – more general co-ordination and movement, along with elements of tap dancing. Acting is encouraged through drama games and exercises: very often the small children think they are just playing, but they will all be developing various skills along the way. The most important thing throughout all the classes is the environment in which children learn. It must be fun for them, or there is no point in it. It is necessary to stress that we are a theatre group and therefore we cannot focus on acting alone, and all the children must work to acquire a basic knowledge of singing and dancing too. If they should choose acting as a profession, they will certainly have more to offer a prospective employer with these other skills under their belt.

Certainly for me, it is the confidence that the children gain that brings most reward. Seeing them blossom from shy young things to confident, keen performers is something of which to be proud. For those not lacking self confidence, this is a great outlet for them to recognise their potential – and let off  some steam at the same time!