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What They Say

Testimonials from parents

“My daughter would literally move out if I didn’t secure her place ASAP! She loves it, she really does!” Gemma


“Classes are AMAZING!! Siena loves them and I think you’re a hero.” Charlotte


 “Definitely the best one yet…we thought this was a LOAD more fun than the professional Aladdin at the Alban Arena. Superb!” Anon


“It was absolutely brilliant. I am completely in awe of the kids that get up on that stage and perform their hearts out, and of you and the rest of your fabulous team for all the hard work you put in so our children can experience something so fabulous. Thank you.” Donna


“As a new parent to Hurst I wasn’t sure what to expect on show night and was quite simply blown away by the tremendous energy and enthusiasm the children put into their performances. They were fantastic and it was a joy to watch! 


“We just wanted to say a massive thank you for your persistence in running the classes this term. Isla has really thrived being teleported to a fun and enjoyable place for an hour each week whilst on the zoom calls and she’s enjoyed getting to know some new dances and perfect her ‘cool pose’, one which I think will stick with her for some time to come!!!” Laura

“You are proving to be a life line through this COVID madness for both the kids and all of us grown ups. I’m sure you get positive feedback all the time, but as a newbie (to parenting and Hurst), I find it remarkable how you’ve managed to navigate your way through all the weirdness, stay enthusiastic, keep them focused and continue to make them laugh and make progress. I personally think you are amazing and I’m so glad that I found you, and the joy you bring. Thank you. (I’m rarely this gushy, but life has thrown a curve ball that you seemed to have to dodged!).” Kat



“Thank you, the show was awesome! We laughed and cried throughout. We didn’t know what to expect but it was impressive and simply amazing!” Anon


“Thanks loads as always to all of you – it’s a completely amazing thing for our girls to be involved in – we count ourselves v lucky.” Burr


“Well….you wove your magic again for another brilliant show!


You and Ruth continue to astound us with your energy and positive influence on the kids.” Alison F


“If any parent was looking for a theatre group in Harpenden for their children to join where they can learn about the art of “Theatre”, be treated as individuals and encouraged to have lots of fun and laughter then this is the place for them to go!” Liz A

“I will always be grateful for what you offered girls when they were young, getting Emily on stage in her first show obviously set her on a path which might end up being a career. You do an amazing thing for so many kids – thanks again” Catherine


“The whole cast were involved and engaged and clearly having the time of their lives. You are all amazing.” Dawn


“The script was hilarious (far superior to the professional local Christmas pantos), the acting was impressive and the children had so much fun.” Jo


Wow! What a show! That was a whole load of fun. Energy levels were sky high and whole cast were brimming with enthusiasm and confidence. Song choices excellent as usual.” Anon


I can’t imagine how you put all that together and manage to inspire so many children of different ages and personalities to get up on stage and perform so brilliantly, but it was great!” Vikki H



“The costumes and the scenery were amazing and what is especially apparent is the childrens’ enjoyment throughout.  Just incredible that you manage to get this all together in such a short space of time.” Ali J

“We can’t thank you enough for what you inspire in them”. Sally S

“I love seeing lots of familiar faces at each production and seeing how they’ve gained in confidence since the last one – you are truly amazing at bringing out the best in all of them!” Rachel


“As usual the show was brilliant, the children all looked like they were having a ball.  I can’t believe we only have 3 shows left until she leaves for Uni. It’s such a huge part of her life.” Lisa

“I’ve heard such fantastic things about your shows, but WOW, it totally blew me away. What you both do is utterly incredible as every child there just loved it and they are all allowed to express themselves and most importantly, enjoy it! Caroline J

“We were incredibly proud to see her in the spotlight, with a really confident stage presence. You truly are a magician!


We are absolutely in awe of what you have achieved!” Sally G


“Please put mine down for next term, they wouldn’t miss it for the world.” Laura


“Thank you so much for being such an inspiration to our son.  He absolutely loved his first stage show and can’t wait for the next one. You and your team do an amazing job and I can clearly see that being part of your courses and production has given the children more confidence and invaluable life skills” Sam


“I cried with laughter, all the way through”


“Extraordinary on an hour a week. It comes from the power of music. Tearing up” Angie


“I just wanted to take the opportunity to say thank you so much for all of your hard work. This was our first show so we weren’t quite sure what to expect! We were so impressed by the whole show, from start to finish it was super slick and I’ve never seen so many children looking like their having the time of their lives on stage!! The growth in confidence in our kids has been unbelievable since they started at Hurst. So a huge thank you from us and we can’t wait for the next show!!” Catherine D


“You are absolutely the major highlight of their week and they not only love coming to your sessions (more than all the others by far) but as you know – they also totally ADORE you and talk about you a lot.” Kristine


“You truly are an inspiration to us all!! They had a once in a lifetime experience, and on balance a more valuable one than anything they could have learnt at school. We will cherish the memory of that show FOREVER! They are all still buzzing!” VH


“Once again – thanks very much – you really are giving them memories that will live with them for a lifetime!” Ann

Review of Aladdin in Harpenden News by Debbie Bigg

Last night, my six year-old son, Alfie, and I went along to Harpenden Public Halls for the opening show of Aladdin performed by The Hurst Theatre Children’s Group.

Jonas Hurst, who runs the group and who co-wrote and directed the show, pre-warned us that being the first performance, and indeed the first full run through, it might be a little less than slick. Undeterred we sat back in our seats amidst the audience largely made up of parents, grandparents, siblings and friends of the young starlets on stage.

Engaged by the young performers from curtain up, we laughed at the jokes and giggled at the slapstick comedy elements. We aaahed when the ‘Weenie Genies’ came on stage – the youngest of them being only three year’s old, and booed the villain Fu Manchu with great gusto, joining in the ongoing joke of ‘bless you’ whenever his name was mentioned.

What we did witness were some very confident performances; lines projected well, beautiful singing voices, fantastic costumes, great scenery and a whole lot of fun. Indeed, there was a sense of great enjoyment throughout, which filtered from the stage, to the audience and even out to front-of-house.

At one stage Alfie was giggling so much, he was drawing attention away from the stage. His review: “a bit scary, funny, and someone was in the wrong show,” his reference being to Prince Charming, who kept popping up on stage in search of Cinderella.

In true panto style, the Hurst’s managed to treat the grown-ups to some good adult jokes, and in turn the children had their fair share of funnies to chortle at. Widow Twanky, in a two-foot tall wig, provided great comic entertainment, as did the Genie of the lamp. But really it’s hard to single out any one of these competent and committed kids.

They all did such a great job and fully deserve the applause that it still ringing in my ears.

Aladdin by Liz Atkinson (parent)

As a parent of children who have been going to the Hurst Theatre Group since it started 4 years ago (this is my son Tom’s 5th year and my daughter Katie’s 3rd year), I have been asked if I would give a review of their latest show having gone to 3 performances over the 4 days! So here goes.

“Aladdin” came to Harpenden Halls last week with this delightful show from The Hurst Theatre Group, a family run theatre company with local children from Harpenden and the surrounding villages.

The venue was used to such great effect with over 100 youngsters filling the stage from as young at 3 years old to 18 years of age.

The logistics must have been a nightmare, but everyone knew their place and it came together perfectly.

Director Jonas Hurst has the most amazing talent for bringing out the individual character of every single performer on stage, even if they are simply in a chorus line: it is fascinating to see the animation on all the children’s faces and so enjoyable to see each performer go through their paces, especially The Weenie Genies who were the youngest of them all,

Most of the show, I was laughing so much with tears running down my face at some points, It is impossible to single out individuals for praise as this was very much a team effort, however,  there were some amazing performances from the older children who had taken the stage every day and must have worked so hard on all their character.  I really felt that you could see all the children had tried so hard to please not only their parents, grandparents and friends who where watching in the audience, but Jonas too, who was accompanying them on the piano with the band at the front of the stage.

Jonas and his helpers and the entire theatre group had clearly worked so hard towards making the show a success, and the results of their efforts were up there on the stage for all of us to see.  If any parent was looking for a theatre group in Harpenden for their children to join where they can learn about the art of “Theatre”, be treated as individuals and encouraged to have lots of fun and laughter then this is the place for them to go. 

Well Done again for another enjoyable and hilarious production.

harpenden directory - dick whittington

Dick Whittington… a great time was had by all.

I went to see Dick Whittington presented by The Hurst Children’s Theatre Group with my children in January. We all had a really great afternoon… with lots of laughs.

Especially enjoyable were the antics of the little rats (the youngest actors, aged 3 to 6 years) who were absolutely delightful and very amusing.

It was evident that all the children on stage were having fun too, enjoying the acting and being part of a big show. The production was very well thought through and all the cast seemed to have either a singing or speaking part, so everyone had their moment of fame!

There were even guest appearances from Jordan and Peter Andre… the show had everything to entertain the family.

Watch out for their next production in July. Wendy Robertson.