Year-End Kudos, 2003


From the New Zealand Herald, "2003: Year in Review":

"Performance: Hurst's 'Hamlet' season highlight
17.12.2003 By PETER CALDER

The year's best work on stage was the oldest.  Michael Hurst demonstrated his claim to being our 21st century version of the old-style actor-managers, directing and starring in a version of Hamlet which made it a sleek, dark drama about a dysfunctional family.

Michael Hurst approached Shakespeare's
text with intelligence and sensitivity,
making Hamlet this year's best work.

His performance was an unalloyed pleasure because he approached the text with such intelligence and sensitivity that even the famous soliloquies sounded as if we were hearing them for the first time. Dizzyingly exciting, it was unquestionably the best reading of a Shakespeare tragedy and possibly the best local Shakespeare ever."

In the December 2003 issue of Metro magazine, arts editor Gilbert Wong presented "Five Prizes for the Luvvies". The first of the five was the "Energizer Bunny of the Year Award" presented to "Michael Hurst, who directed and starred in two fine pieces of theatre, a dark, blackly humorous reading of Hamlet and the cheerful slapstick panto Aladdin. The latter proved you can make theatre for kids without alienating grownups as long as you let the audience throw things, while in the former he proved yet again that he is our finest interpreter of the Bard. Hurst, who has founded the new theatre company The Large Group, capped off the year as one of the latest crop of Arts Laureates".

In the 3-9 January 2004 issue of the New Zealand Listener, in its "Best of 2003" article, Michael Hurst was named best Auckland-area theatre actor: "His complex portrayal of Hamlet was the stand-out performance". David Aston's "delightfully smarmy Polonius in Hamlet" was named runner-up. The article also named Michael as runner-up for Best Director, for Hamlet.


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