Home > Recent Projects > King Lear


King Lear

By William Shakespeare; directed by Lisa Harrow
Directorial Consultant: Michael Hurst

Presented by University of Auckland Summer Shakespeare
Old Arts Quad (behind University of Auckland Clock Tower)
Auckland, New Zealand, 1-30 March 2013

Michael is the Chair of AUSA Outdoor Shakespeare Trust.


King Lear
  Michael Neill  
  Lisa Harrow
  Michael Hurst  
  Oliver Rosser
alternate Fool
  Arlo Gibson  
Directorial Consultant
  Michael Hurst
  Anthea Hill  
  Gareth Farr
  Lucinda Hare  
Stage Manager
  Fiona Ryan
  Kate Watson  
Production Manager
  Theresa Manaray
  Calum Gittins  
Set Designer
  Jessika Verryt
  Andrew Paterson  
Makeup & Hair Designer
  Alison Brill & Cut Above Academy
  Geoff Snell  
Lighting Designer
  Brad Gledhill
  Peter Stephens  
Scenic Artist
  Renee Tepairi
Oswald #1
  Tom Bishop   Costume Construction   Lynn Cottingham
Oswald #2   Caleb Wells       Gayle Jackson
Albany   Bruce De Grut       Anita Oram
Cornwall   Luke Thornborough   Wardrobe Manager   Gayle Jackson
France   Gorjan Markovski   Props Master   Sophie Bloomfield
Burgundy   Nick MacDuff   Administrator   Sam Durbin
Gentleman   Carl DeVere   Assistant Producer   Natalie Braid
Old Man   Joaquim Francino   Assistant Director   Anna Francino
Attendant   Lucy Smith   Assistant Stage Manager   Beth Absalom
Attendant   Matt Allen   Beneficiary Manager   Anthea Hill
Attendant   Matt Norton   Technical Manager   Sam Mence
Attendant   Sally Bollinger   Publicity   Elephant Publicity
Attendant   Stephen Hood        

From the Outdoor Shakespeare Trust

Welcome to this 50th Anniversary Production of Outdoor Shakespeare at the University of Auckland.

Four years ago the AUSA Outdoor Shakespeare Trust was formed.  As a board, we realised that the Trust needed an infrastructure that could support the endeavor of the participants, and allow for both proper financial management of productions and building resources.  Over the past two years we've put that structure in place, and we are thrilled to be able to present this mighty play to you this evening.

Our aim is to bring the experience of Outdoor Shakespeare at the University of Auckland back into public focus, reminding the good people of the city that there is a single and rare experience to be had in the heart of the University of Auckland every year towards the end of summer.

More than simply Shakespeare in an outdoor setting, I believe this event is a unique community experience for participants and audience alike.  It is an event that provides skills and experience to students, staff, actors, designers, technicians, composers and people of all ages and all walks of life interested in theatre, Shakespeare and the communication of ideas.  It is an event that brings a community of people together to encounter something beyond the everyday, and it has the power to enrich and transform any audience lucky enough to witness it.

In presenting King Lear we not only look back at 50 years of productions, we also look forward to the next 50 years.  In this age of technical superabundance, we must take care to preserve those things that speak directly to our collective spirit, or we run the risk of being diminished, becoming more and more incapable of coming to grips with what it means to be human, to stand in the face of eternity and yet be confined within the globe of our undestanding.

We are all in this together.

Michael Hurst, O.N.Z.M
Chair--AUSA Outdoor Shakespeare Trust
New Zealand Arts Laureate

This video on the history of Summer Shakespeare features scenes from King Lear.

Geoff Snell (Gloucester); Peter Stephens (Kent)

Calum Gittins (Edmund)

Michael Neill (King Lear); Anthea Hill (Cordelia)

Michael Hurst (the Fool); Nick MacDuff (attendant)

Michael Neill (King Lear); Peter Stephens (Kent);
Caleb Wells (Oswald)

Michael Hurst (the Fool); Michael Neill (King Lear)

Kate Watson (Regan); Geoff Snell (Gloucester);
Luke Thornborough (Cornwall)

Andrew Paterson (Edgar); Geoff Snell (Gloucester)

Michael Neill (King Lear); Peter Stephens (Kent);
Anthea Hill (Cordelia)

Closing night - applauding the director

Bruce DeGrut, Peter Stephens, Luke Thornborough, Andrew Paterson, Michael Neill, Lisa Harrow, Lucinda Hare, Anthea Hill, Calum Gittins


Michael Hurst, Lisa Harrow (director), Tom Bishop

Matt Allen (attendant); Luke Thornborough (Cornwall)

Calum Gittins (Edmund); Kate Watson (Regan)

Andrew Paterson (Edgar); Calum Gittins (Edmund)

Bruce De Grut (Albany); Lucinda Hare (Goneril);
Calum Gittins (Edmund); Matt Norton (attendant)

Anthea Hill (Cordelia); Michael Neill (Lear); Peter Stephens (Kent)
(rear, attendants) Sally Bollinger, Matt Norton,
Lucy Smith

Peter Stephens, Michael Hurst

Home  Recent Projects Future Projects

King Lear

Listener:  "The productions chief virtue--and the importance of this cannot be overstated--is the way in which it so clearly communicates the meaning of Shakespeare's language to modern ears, adroitly mining the text so its rich vein of poetry, psychology and humour are exposed . . . One presumes Harrow's achievement was greatly aided by the double-duty of Michael Hurst, and that his advice to her as behind-the-scenes directorial consultant was as acute as that of his on-stage Fool to Lear".

NZ Herald:  "The no-nonsense approach brings precision on the complex narrative and allows the richness of the language to shine.  . . . Michael Hurst's easy familiarity with the text is leavened with ironic humour that finds sparkling lucidity in the Fool's complex puns".

Theatreview:  " . . . this director, cast and crew serve the play utterly and they do themselves, and their history, proud.  . . . Hurst is exceptional at becoming, from the first moment, the master of all the play's irony.  . . . All in all, an excellent night".

Theatre Scenes:  " . . . arguably the best local Shakespeare since Michael Hurst's 2004 Macbeth.  . . . Hurst's bounding energy and vitality really make us feel the loss when he disappears after the interval.  . . . This production of Summer Shakespeare has risen to the occasion of their 50th Anniversary, but more importantly, the occasion of Shakeapears's great tragedy".

Craccum:  "Michael Hurst is also a joy to watch on stage.  Hurst plays the wise fool with ease, reacting to Lear's antics with light-footedness and sleight-of-tongue.  Hurst provides a playfulness to the more static scenes with his lithe movements and giddy spirit.  . . . King Lear is not one to be missed!"

Gather and Hunt: "it makes sense to the audience: great understanding equals great delivery equals great clarity equals great times for all ... Michael Hurst was an excellent Fool ... We need more theatre like this.  Theatre where I turn up cold, sick and grumpy and leave colder, but absolutely fizzing, absolutely elated.Theatre where the friend who's never seen the play doesn't need to bother with the synopsis because it's all so clear.  Theatre where the bored anti-Shakespeare friend concedes it was awesome.  Theatre I want to see twice".