Hamlet: Christian Penny, Associate Director

Christian Penny is of Tainui descent and has worked in theatre in New Zealand for over a decade and is recognised as one of this country's boldest theatre directors. He has been committed to developing the art form, pushing boundaries and creating a theatre unique to this land. His training emphasised the actor as writer and he has pursued a theatre that reflects this.

A student of Phillipe Gaulier and other graduates of L'Ecole Jacques Le Coq, Penny took this physical approach into his work with Theatre at Large, which he co-founded in 1990. His productions have been invited to the International Festival of the Arts in Wellington, The Festival of Perth and in Adelaide, and toured America and the UK.

Penny has worked in theatre in a broad range of contexts--large scale physical adaptations of classic texts in found spaces, devised new work on a range of themes both political, personal and indigenous. He has also worked teaching Playback Theatre in community and aid contexts--specifically Kiribati in the central Pacific and with New Zealand's only mixed ability dance company.

Major professional productions include: King Lear with Ian Mune, which toured nationally and was seen by over 17,000 people. Also Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Nights Dream, Cyrano de Bergerac, and The Revengers Tragedy.

New New Zealand work includes Manawa Taua/Savage Hearts, The Butchers Wife, Henry 8, Gold. Since dissolving Theatre at Large in 1997 he has directed Shadows and Light with John Bolton. For Taki Rua Productions: national tours of Victor Roger's award winning play Sons and Witi, Ihimaera's Woman Far Walking. With Theatre Physical in Australia: A House Across Oceans, and with Touch Compass Dance Trust: Lusi's Eden and Lighthouse. For the last four years he has directed a Theatre in Education show designed to encourage reading in NZ's most needy schools.

Since 2002 he has been leading a Master degree in Direction based at Toi Whakaari New Zealand Drama School.

Michael Hurst plays Hamlet Anna Hewlett plays Ophelia Elizabeth Hawthorne plays Gertrude

Ray Trickitt plays Claudius Cast List

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