MICHAEL DIRECTING A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
Michael is directing A Midsummer Night's Dream for University of Auckland Summer Shakespeare, to be performed 13 February-7 March 2015 on the Old Arts Plaza on the University of Auckland campus. With associate director Tom Bishop and producer Natalie Beran. Michael is the Chair of the trust for AUSA Summer Shakespeare.
Click here for info and to book.
Theatre Scenes: "one of the clearest productions of Shakespeare I have seen in terms of communicating the storytelling, and it achieves this without dumbing itself down ... this is a fresh, yet ultimately faithful production with actors well-schooled in the text. You should bring along someone who is not so familiar, this produciton is the perfect gate-way drug to the wonders of Shakespeare".
Lumiere Reader: "This is Shakespeare for people who had Shakespeare ruined for them in high school by over-analysis and interpretation. One of the theatrical highlights of the summer season that shouldn’t be missed. Go see it and be spellbound".
GayNZ.com: "the success of creating a Shakespeare lies, not in the ability to stage individual scenes or even to build good performances, but the capacity to overview the whole journey, to tell the story, and this Hurst has done, and always does, exceptionally well. There's a dark heart to Shakespeare's play and this is often overlooked in the endless search for laughter and romance but not so in this case. We need both and Hurst and his excellent cast have given us this and with oodles to spare ... It's world class Shakespeare"
NZ Herald: "With Michael Hurst at the helm the Summer Shakespeare strikes an appealing balance between the finesse of a fully professional production and the anarchaic exuberance of students hacing a bit of a lark. The brilliantly inventive stagecraft energises a uniformly excellent cast who bring a clear sense of purpose to the smallest details of their performances".
Theatreview: "A Perfect Midsummer Night Out ... I am in nirvana. I wanted this to be good. Thanks everyone for not undermining my book reader's vision of A Midsummer Night's Dream ... If I lived closer I think I would be at this show every night".
Click here to listen to Michael talk about A Midsummer Night's Dream on RadioNZ Concert.
(photo: Amber-Rose Henshall as Puck, Alistair Browning as Oberon)
From the press release:
"MICHAEL HURST'S FRENZY OF FRANTIC LOVE .... Valentine's Day just got a whole lot sexier, you guys. This February 14, the mistakes and follies of young love, wildly hammy amateur acting and warring fairies are whipped up into a maelstrom by a cast aged 18 to 94 when A Midsummer Night's Dream opens the annual Auckland Summer Shakespeare season".
JENNIFER IN THE BOOK OF EVERYTHING
Jennifer will play Auntie Pie in The Book of Everything, adapted by Richard Tulloch from a book by Guus Kuijer, for Silo Theatre and the Auckland Arts Festival. It will also feature Mia Blake, Tim Carlsen, Sam Snedden, Michelle Blundell, Patrick Carroll, Rima Te Wiata and Olivia Tennet; it will be directed by Sophie Roberts.
From the press release: It's 1951, and to escape an unhappy household and a violent father, nine year-old Thomas Klopper creates a magical world where anything is possible - odd encounters with Jesus, friendship with the witch next door and falling in love for the very first time. Eventually he starts to learn how to be brave.
At Q Theatre, 14-22 March 2015; click here for more info and to book.
JENNIFER TO CO-PRODUCE AND DIRECT WHERE WERE YOU?
Last Tapes Theatre Company and The Large Group are co-producing Where Were You?, a play re-counting the sinking of the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior in Auckland Harbour on 10 July 1985, an act of terrorism that changed New Zealand forever. In this, the 30-year anniversary of the event, Where Were You? will bring this culturally significant event back into the spotlight to examine how it contributed to the establishment of New Zealand's unique position as a nuclear free country.
Jennifer will direct and produce (for The Large Group). It will be presented 19-30 May at The Basement.
The producers are asking for support via The Art Foundation's crowd-funding site, Boosted. Please click here for more information about the show, or to donate. Also supported by Greenpeace and PADET.
Actress Lucy Lawless is a supporter of the production. Please see her short video below:
MICHAEL DIRECTING THE GENERATION OF Z: APOCALYPSE
Michael is directing this immersive theatre show in London, opening 4 April, at 69-89 Mile End Road, London. Click here for info and tickets. Check out photos from the first read-through on their Facebook page. Watch the trailer below:
JENNIFER TO JUDGE ONE NIGHT STAND
Jennifer will be one of the judges of the One Night Stand play festival on Friday, 6 March 2015; the festival will run Thursday through Saturday at The Basement. Click here to book.
"One Night Stand is a fast and furious 24 hour play festival where teams have 24 hours to write, direct, and perform original 10-minute scripts. Just like its namesake, One Night Stand is low-commitment, fun and over before you know it. But whether they're pure magic or a hot mess, these plays are sure to take you on one hell of a ride!"
JENNIFER TO SING WITH JUBILATION
Jennifer will sing with Jubilation a cappella gospel choir on 29 March 2015 at 5:30 p.m. at the Sapphire Room, Ponsonby Central, 136 Ponsonby Road.
Tickets: $20 at the door (email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a seat).
MICHAEL AND JENNIFER WERE CELEBRITY GUESTS AT OFFICIAL XENA CONVENTION
Michael and Jennifer were the final guests at the 20th Annual (and last) Official Xena Conention presented by Creation Entertainment at the Burbank Marriott Airport Hotel, Burbank, CA, 20- 22 February 2015. At the end of their session, Michael took this photo from the stage of Jennifer with the fans:
MICHAEL DOES FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY FOR THE LADY KILLERS
Michael did the fight choreography for Auckland Theatre Company's production of The Lady Killers, at Maidment Theatre, 14 February-7 March 2015. Click here for info and to book.
Theatreview: "Credit must also be given to Michael Hurst's seamless stunt choreography that ensures the quick, often brutish exchanges are lively and impactful with no trace of stylised cliches".
Theatrescenes: "The cast proves the physical and intellectual demand of farce an achievable one thanks to Michael Hurst's signature stunt choreography and their own natural timing,
MICHAEL TO BE CELEBRITY GUEST AT OZ COMIC-CON
Michael will be a celebrity guest at Oz Comic-Con at Perth Conention & Exhibition Centre, Perth, Western Australia (11-12 April 2015) and at Adelaide Showgrounds, Adelaide, South Australia (18-19 April 2015). He will do a Q&A on stage, plus he and Kevin Sorbo will do a "Hercules Dinner" on Saturday night at each location with a maximum of 10 fans. Click here for info and tickets.
JENNIFER IS FEATURED IN GLORY DAYS
Jennifer is featured in vintage lifestyle magazine Glory Days, issue 9, The Hollywood Issue (February 2015).
Click here for info on where to buy it, or here to order online.
MICHAEL DIRECTING TATAU
Michael is directing episodes 6 and 7 of the new 8-episode fantasy drama series Tatau, produced by Touchpaper TV and South Pacific Pictures for BBC Three (UK) and BBC America (USA). It is written by Richard Zajdlic and stars Joe Layton and Theo Barklem-Biggs, with Barry Atsma, Shushila Takao, Cian Elyse White, Tai Berdinner-Blades, Temuera Morrison, Alex Tarrant, Rawiri Jobe, Kirk Torrance and Rangimoana Taylor. It was filmed September-December 2014, in The Cook Islands and New Zealand, for airing in 2015. Michael filmed his episodes in October/November 2014 and finished post-production in February 2015.
Tagata Pasifika did a behind-the-scenes story on the filming of Tatau on The Cook Islands, with scenes of Michael directing; watch it below.
From the show's Facebook page:
"Kyle is unsettled when local people react to his tattoo: it clearly has a significance that he is entirely unaware of. It’s like he’s been marked out for something – but what?
"Later, while snorkelling in a lagoon, Kyle finds the body of a local girl, Aumea, tied up underwater – dead. Returning to the lagoon with the police, Kyle finds her corpse has disappeared. Budgie wonders if his best friend is going mad – he’s imagining things. But Kyle knows what he saw. And he’s also beginning to realise that he has a gift – or a curse: the murder he’s witnessed isn’t something that has happened, it’s something that will happen in the future.
"Kyle and Budgie find themselves sucked into a desperate race to prevent Aumea’s murder, as Kyle learns that his gifts don’t stop at prophecy… and the full meaning of his tattoo is revealed".
Click here for a BBC press release (25 September 2014) on Tatau.
MICHAEL NARRATES THE LION QUEEN
Michael narrated 6-episode documentary series The Lion Queen for Top Shelf Productions. It was shown on Animal Planet across Africa, in the Middle East, and in parts of Europe in 16 February 2015. Click here for details; see their Facebook page.
The Lion Queen is the story of Andi Rive, a midwife from the city who has fallen in love with the fifty lions at Glen Garriff Lion Reserve. With her dedicated team of staff, family and volunteers, Andi and close friend Traci, Glen Garriff's CEO, are tasked with keeping the struggling reserve afloat, fending off creditors, lawyers and hunters.
Andi has made a commitment to manage and try to save Glen Garriff. It's a huge task – finding food for the lions, money to cover running costs, and learning how to run an 860 hectare reserve which has lions and other wildlife, a lodge, and staff.
Watch the trailer below:
BROKENWOOD MYSTERIES AVAILABLE ON DVD;
SEASON TWO ANNOUNCED
Michael directed the third episode of The Brokenwood Mysteries, which aired in New Zealand on Prime in October 2014. It stars Neill Rea and Fern Sutherland, with Pana Hema Taylor, Nic Sampson, Christina Ionda, Colin Moy, Andi Crown, and Miriama McDowell.
The four two-hour mystery movies were released as a dvd set on 11 December 2014, and a second season was announced on 15 December 2014.
JENNIFER AND MICHAEL TO GUEST STAR IN TERRY TEO
Jennifer will play Barbara Bertinelli in the third episode of Terry Teo, a revival of the classic Kiwi TV show, filmed early November 2014. Michael will play Cornelius Jones in one episode, filmed mid-December. The show will air on TV2.
Click here for info.