4-27 September 2014: Trees Beneath the Lake
Michael will star as William Campbell in the world premiere of this Arthur Meek play. For Auckland Theatre Company at Maidment Theatre. With Theresa Healey, Catherine Wilkin, Brooke Williams, Peter Hayden and Leighton Stichbury; directed by Simon Bennett, with design by Tracey Collins, Sara Taylor, and Phillip Dexter.
NZ Herald: "Michael Hurst's portrayal of a despicable conman is a finely nuanced performance ... engaging performances from a superb ensemble uncover plenty of vitality in the explosive conflicts".
Keeping Up with New Zealand: "William, played with supercilious aplomb by Michael Hurst ... This is a story that will engage and entertain you with ease ... Superlative acting ... wonderful script ... superb set design"
Metro: "the genius of Hurst's take is that we're never sure when he's playing the character for truth ... Trees Beneath the Lake matches its big themes with big drama and big laughs. Meek has my complete confidence; give him yours too".
RadioNZ Concert (listen below): "It's wonderful to watch Michael work with such ease and charm ... There's a complexity with what Arthur's playing with with these different characters. It's wonderful to see a company, led by Simon Bennett, that's so strong".
TV3: "It ought to become a modern masterpiece: an accomplished, questioning reflection of time and society, with extraordinarily rich characters ... It's hugely exciting to see an original Kiwi production this ambitious and accomplished".
NBR: "Michael Hurst as William gave a punchy performance ... a clever, thoughtful and entertaining play"
Theatreview: "With his exemplary cast, director Simon Bennett presents a well-realised, skilfully performed, recognisably small-town Kiwi family ... entertaining and clever"
Jawkward: "what really propels the play from good to great is the acting. Michael Hurst et al are solid, delivering lines and attitude that perfectly match the pace of the script ... quite possibly the best play I've seen by ATC so far".
Tearaway: "Hurst’s portrayal of William’s skill in trickery really blurred the line between mask and man ... zingers and symbolism aside, that’s what this is: a play that reflects the contemporary heart of New Zealand ...Trees Beneath The Lake has humour, tension, and silence that nibbles at your heartstrings".
Read the press release here; click here for info and to book. ATC has posted 63 rehearsal photos on Facebook.
In the aftermath of the global recession, former golden boy William Campbell's political dreams and financial practices have hit the rocks. Facing an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office, he returns to his mother Nieve's Central Otago home in a last-ditch effort to salvage his marriage, fortune and reputation. However, the place is not what it used to be. Years ago the Campbells lost their battle to save the family orchard from being flooded beneath the waters of the Clyde Dam. Now, as Nieve's family reconvenes to fight for their future, the fiercely-proud matriarch accidentally shines a devastating new light on their past.
Past and present collide and startling revelations rip through genteel pleasantries, as a family steels itself once more for a fight to hold onto the past. The Trees Beneath the Lake examines the fictions we tell ourselves and those we love in order to keep our personal stocks high. Urgent, relevant and dramatic.
With Catherine Wilkin
In the run-up to the September elections, a series of short videos was released in which Michael portrays NZ Prime Minister John Key (final video added 5 September 2014).
28 September 2014, 8:30 p.m.: The Brokenwood Mysteries
The Brokenwood Mysteries premieres on Prime.
Michael directed episode 1.03 "Playing the Lie" of these two-hour murder mysteries from South Pacific Pictures. Click here for info. Watch the trailer below:
October/November 2014: Tatau
15-18 October 2014: No Holds Bard at Arts Festival Dunedin
Michael will direct two (of 8) episodes of BBC/South Pacific Pictures' tv series Tatau, set in the Cook Islands. Click here for more info.
Michael will perform his solo show No Holds Bard at Fortune Theatre on 15-18 October 2014.
Click here for info; click here to book.
Edinburgh Spotlight: "a tsumani of a performance ... feats of physical and mental ingenuity. It elicits gasps as well as laughs, and shifts acrobatically between comedy of an almost stand-up nature and emotionally-rooted tragedy. A breath of fresh Shakespeare air and a comedic head-bashing all in one!"
Broadway Baby: "Hurst is the quintessential stage performer ... No Holds Bard is incredibly riveting and utterly entertaining; a breathtakingly visionary and deeply emotional theatrical masterpiece"
SG Fringe: "Michael Hurst gives a bravura performance of immense energy and intensity, brilliantly walking the tightrope between genuine tragedy and insane comedy, reaching incredible heights ... The audience were gripped, moved and entertained in equal measure".
Click here for the No Holds Bard website.
17-26 October 2014: Inorganic at Badalona Film Festival
Michael plays Brett in this short film from director Maria-Elena Doyle. It is an officlal selection at Badalona Film Festival, Badalona, Spain. Click here for the film's Facebook page.
2 November 2014: Our Big Blue Backyard
Michael narrated this documentary series which will air Sundays at 7:30 on TVOne, beginning 2 November. Click here for the show's Facebook page.
2 December 2014: Brel
Michael directed Brel for Silo Theatre (featuring Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Julia Deans, Tama Waipara, and Jon Toogood), which was performed in Auckland Town Hall Concert Chamber 1-24 November 2012. In 2013, it toured to festivals around New Zealand, followed by a week at the New Zealand Festival in February 2014, and a triumphant return to Auckland for a "One night Stand" in the Great Hall of Auckland Town Hall on 4 March 2014. RadioNZ recorded the "One Night Stand" and will play it on RadioNZ Concert on the evening of 2 December.
14 February -7 March 2015: A Midsummer Night's Dream
Michael will direct for University of Auckland Summer Shakespeare (see their Facebook page).