Michael Hurst Now.com

This website was created to showcase the post-Hercules career of New Zealand actor and director, Michael Hurst.  We will also announce the professional activities of Michael's wife, Jennifer Ward-Lealand . . . More


HOMEPAGE / CURRENT PROJECTS INDEX

* THE ALMIGHTY JOHNSONS

* THE BROKENWOOD MYSTERIES
* CHICAGO
* HAMILTON OPERATIC SOCIETY
* LUNCHEON
* NO HOLDS BARD
* OUR BIG BLUE BACKYARD
* RITA AND DOUGLAS
* SWEPT AWAY BY THE ROMANTICS
* ZOMBIE: RED ZONE


Look beyond the homepage--use the links below to explore Michael's career:

ALPHABETICAL INDEX       RECENT PROJECTS         FUTURE PROJECTS

MICHAEL ON TV IN THE 80'S: NEW ZEALAND ONSCREEN

RADIO INTERVIEWS            WHAT'S AVAILABLE ON DVD

 


Photo: Tracey Stevens


  

WHAT'S NEW ON THE SITE?


Jennifer and Michael are the Patrons of Q Theatre;
seen here at One Night with Q, 7 June 2012.


Follow MichaelHurstNow on Twitter


WHAT'S NEW ON THE SITE

19 April  Added The Brokenwood Mysteries to homepage

17 April  Added pic of Jennifer as Elsa Lanchester in Luncheon to homepage

14 April  Added Luncheon to homepage

11 April  Added Zombie: Red Zone to homepage

31 March  Added Swept Away by the Romantics to homepage

25 March  Added No Holds Bard in Taupo to homepage

17 March  Updated Brel page with photos from 4 March performance at Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall; added Jennifer teaching Flying Solo masterclass at Hamilton Operatic Society to homepage

9 March  Added pic of Jennifer teaching for Hamilton Operatic Society to homepage

5 March  Updated Brel page with 2014 reviews and video interview with Jennifer and Julia

13 February  Added pic of Michael and Jennifer at Xena con to homepage

12 February  Added Hamilton Operatic Society, Michael cancelled at OzComicCon to homepage

3 January  Added Gather & Hunt's review and year-end kudos for Chicago to homepage

29 December  Added Gather and Hunt review of King Lear to King Lear page

28 December  Added Theatre Scenes year-end kudos for Chicago to homepage

24 December  Added Lumiere Reader's year-end kudos for Chicago to homepage

20 November  Added Chicago named "Best Show" of 2013 by Metro magazine to homepage

13 November  Added 20/20 video to homepage

21 October  Added Nelson Mail and Theatreview reviews of Brel in Nelson to Brel page

11 October  Added Almighty Johnsons season 3 dvd's to homepage

30 September  Created Spartacus: War of the Damned 'Decimation' page, with screen caps, cast list, etc.

10 September  Created Spartacus Overview page, summarizing Michael's contributions to Starz' Spartacus series (with links to individual episode pages)

30 August  Added Chicago to homepage

25 July  Added pic of Jennifer as Karen in The Almighty Johnsons to homepage

23 June  Created Global Bloomsday Gathering page

21 May  Added Michael on Summer Noelle features 'True Stories Told Live' and 'Songs I Could Listen to Again and Again' to Radio Interviews page

12 May  Created Actors' Program stage combat class page

 

 

 



CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE, DETAILED SITE HISTORY


This is not an official site, but we will keep it current with news of Michael's professional activities, as well as an archive of his projects.  We will also announce the professional activities of Michael's wife, Jennifer Ward-Lealand; see her official site for more on her career.

See also:  Michael's curriculum vitae on his official website: www.michaelhurst.co.nz and his listing on IMDB.  Michael is represented by Johnson & Laird Management.

 


MICHAEL DIRECTING ZOMBIE: RED ZONE

Michael is directing this interactive theatrical event, presented by Royale Productions in Christchurch, NZ 25 April-17 May 2014.  It is part of the Generation of Z; see their Facebook page.  Click here to book.

Zombie: Red Zone is a play on steroids, performed in a purpose-built and site-specific military zone.  It exists in a rich and detailed world, one with not only the traditional thrills and spills of the horror genre, but with interactive elements that place the audience at the centre of the experience.  Zombie: Red Zone is immersive theatre with guts.  There are no 3D glasses, no fourth wall and no interval.  You're in the thick of it until the bitter end ... be it rescue or death.

"interactive theatre thrown into overdrive ... intense emotional engagement" (NZ Herald)


MICHAEL NARRATES OUR BIG BLUE BACKYARD

Michael narrated the 6 episode documentary series Our Big Blue Backyard, which will air Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. on TVOne beginning 3 May 2014.  The series explores six unique marine locations around New Zealand's coastlines.  Click here for info.


NO HOLDS BARD GOES TO TAUPO

Michael will perform his solo show No Holds Bard at Erupt! Lake Taupo Arts Festival on 8 and 10 May 2014.  Click here to book.

Edinburgh Spotlight:  "a tsunami 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, readhing incredible heights ... The audience were gripped, moved and entertained in equal measure".

Go to the No Holds Bard website for more info, pics and reviews.


JENNIFER TO STAR IN LUNCHEON

Jennifer will play Elsa Lanchester in the world premiere of Luncheon by Aroha Arawau, directed by Katie Wolfe, at The Basement, 20-31 May 2014.  Tickets on sale soon; check back.

It's 1958 and Hollywood is preparing for the biggest night of the year - the Academy Awards.  Four days before the glamorous event, the five women up for best supporting actress have a luncheon to celebrate their nominations.  One of them is Miyoshi Umeki, the first person of Asian heritage to be nominated for an Oscar.  The claws come out in this action-packed gathering, filled with conflict, drama and laughter.  but the question on everyone's lips is, who will take home the coveted prize.


MICHAEL DIRECTING THE BROKENWOOD MYSTERIES

From early May through mid-June, Michael will be directing the third (of four) two-hour mystery movies for South Pacific Pictures, to air on Prime (probably later in 2014).  Click here for info.


Fern Sutherland and Neill Rea to star in The Brokenwood Mysteries


MICHAEL READING ROMANTIC-PERIOD POETRY AT AUCKLAND LIBRARY

Michael will be reading poetry from the Romantic period in 'Swept Away by the Romantics' on 30 April, 6:30 p.m. at Auckland Central City Library.  The event will be in conjunction with the library's rare book exhibition, 'The Romantics: Jane Austen meets Frankenstein'.  Click here for info.


JENNIFER'S TEACHING AT HAMILTON OPERATIC SOCIETY

Jennifer taught her masterclass, The Craft of Acting, at Hamilton Operatic Society, 8-9 March 2014.  Click here for more pics.

She will return to Hamilton Operatic Society to teach her musical theatre masterclass, Flying Solo, on 2 August 2014.  Click here for info.


YEAR-END KUDOS FOR CHICAGO!

Theatre Scenes: "Chicago was Auckland Theatre Company's - and Auckland theatre's - great triumph of 2013".

Lumiere Reader: "Chicago (Auckland Theatre Company).  One of the highlights of the year, as anybody who is trying to book tickets at this late point in the game knows. An explosion of sex and spectacle, Michael Hurst’s production turns a musical that maybe isn’t as great as its reputation into one of the best two and a half hours of the year."

Gather & Hunt: "Pure unabashed entertainment, the Auckland Theatre Company's version of Chicago is gritty, shocking and surprisingly unglamourous. It's no suprise even the extended run sold out".

Metro:  In its annual "Best of Auckland" issue, Chicago was named "Best Show" of 2013 (click here):

"Colleen Davis, lungs open to the heavens, belting out "Maaa-maaa!"  Shane Cortese, arriving on stage as lawyer Billy Flynn, wearing a hips-short dressing gown and the most mischievious grin - and very little else - accompanied by the lanky strutting James Luck in black rabbit ears, a black corset and jock strap, and platform shoes.  And absolutely nothing else.  Lucy Lawless and Amanda Billing eating up the stage as the feuding Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart; Andrew Grainger stealing out hearts as the innocent husband with his beautifully sad rendition of 'Mr Cellophane'.  And the band, belting their way through John Gibson's brilliantly reinvented score.  And the chorus, worked up by choreographer Shona McCullagh into the slinkiest, most dangerously febrile set of dancer/singers to subvert an Auckland stage since Freda Stark strutted her stuff at the Civic during the war.

"Michael Hurst was the maestro who put it all together, reimagining a Broadway and Hollywood classic into something far more urgent and thrilling.  He directed our 'best of the year' show last year too (Brel, presented by Silo) - right now, he's on fire.

"Favourite moment?  Impossible to say.  But we loved the way chorus member Mike Edward, kicked in the face by Hannah Tasker-Poland, performed a backwards flip.  Later, his feet looped in a sash, he swung upside down over the audience.  It was that kind of show".

Michael directed the Kander, Ebb & Fosse musical for Auckland Theatre Company at Q Theatre.  It was extended three times, running 1 November- 22 December 2013. 

It featured Amanda Billing, Lucy Lawless, Shane Cortese, Colleen Davis, Andrew Grainger, and Sandra Rasmussen, with Mike Edward, Hannah Tasker-Poland, Will Barling, Stephen Butterworth, Lavinia Uhila, James Luck, Katie Swift, and Rebekkah Schoonbeek; choreography by Shona McCullagh, musical direction by John Gibson, set design by John Harding, costume design by Leslie Burkes-Harding, and lighting design by Sean Lynch.

Catch a glimpse of Chicago in the 20/20 feature story on Amanda Billing (below) which follows her transformation from Shortland Street's Sarah Potts to Chicago's Roxie Hart.  It includes interviews with Michael and Lucy Lawless, rehearsal scenes, and video from the show's opening night.


Lucy Lawless and Amanda Billing (photo: Mike Smith)


MICHAEL AND JENNIFER WERE GUESTS AT CREATION ENTERTAINMENT CONVENTION

Michael and Jennifer (along with The Widow Twanky!) were celebrity guests at Creation Entertainment's Xena Convention in Burbank, California, 8 February 2014.  Check back for more pics!


THE ALMIGHTY JOHNSONS TO BE SHOWN ON SYFY IN THE U.S.

The Almighty Johnsons has been picked up by Syfy and is expected to be shown in 2014.

Michael guest starred as Kvasir in episodes 2.1 and 2.11-2.13; click here for screen caps.

Jennifer played Michele's mother Karen in episode 3.4-3.6, and Michael directed episodes 3.7 and 3.8.  Click here for more info on the show.

 

 

 

 

 

 Recent Projects    Future Projects
 
Note: We try to ensure that everything here is correct, but mistakes do happen,
and things can change, so please contact the venues directly for verification.

This site is non-commercial and no money is being made from it. No copyright infringement
is intended. All copyrighted materials remain the property of the original copyright holder.
We believe that everything on this web site falls within the legal description of "fair use".
The site has no formal affiliation with Michael Hurst.

For site update history, click here (latest update 19 April 2014).

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