Young Hearts are running free at Harpenden Public Halls for 10th anniversary show

Young Hearts

Young Hearts - Credit: Archant

A youth theatre group is celebrating its 10th anniversary with an Extravaganza at Harpenden Public Halls on Saturday. (2)

Young Hearts

Young Hearts - Credit: Archant

The Harpenden Young Hearts Youth Theatre is marking a decade of performing at the Public Halls with a show featuring favourite moments from previous productions.

Young Hearts meet after school every Tuesday and Wednesday during term time and performs twice a year on the main stage. The youth theatre has had over 200 students, aged between eight and 17, take part in its performance-based classes since its formation in 2006.

Current student, Ellie Cripps, who has been a student for over five years, said, “I love being a part of the shows, because there is a great community feel in rehearsal and we get to be involved both on and off stage, plus it is great fun.”

Director John Stenhouse, himself a professional actor, commented, “Whilst some younger people are not sport or academically driven, we encourage students to take part in games as a warm-up, to improvise sketches or scenes from everyday life or make believe and ultimately to try scripted work and perform their term’s work in front of a live audience.”


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He continued, “Unlike a theatre school, our aim is to encourage children to be confident so that they may work with or in front of others in later life. Many of our students have attended drama school or joined university performing groups; some of those would never have gained the confidence or skills without the support of the classes as they were naturally shy students.”

Members of youth theatre have also gone on to appear in the Harpenden pantomime with professional actors and taken part in the Edinburgh Fringe

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John added, “We often hold school holiday week-long workshops where the children have created their own costumes, publicity and sets to build an understanding of what is required to produce a show. We have worked with film, video, special effects, music and lights and have also run fight and make-up workshops to further enhance the children’s skills. The students never cease to amaze me with their enthusiasm and creativity.”

Tickets for the 10th anniversary Extravaganza are priced at £8 (£6 concessions) and are available from the Harpenden Public Halls box office on 01582 767525 or online.

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