King Leah is about to come to life in Auckland
Thursday 02 March 2023
Michael Hurst leads a large, star-studded cast in Auckland Theatre Company’s most ambitious production of 2023; KING LEAR
A play by William Shakespeare
Auckland Theatre Company presents Shakespeare’s King Lear, the pinnacle of their 2023 and 30th Anniversary season.
Appearing at ASB Waterfront Theatre from June 13 – July 1, King Lear is Auckland Theatre Company’s first Shakespeare production in over a decade. Audiences from ‘Succession’ to ‘Shakespeare’ eager to see Kiwi acting royalty Michael Hurst and a stellar cast take on one of the most iconic stories and ultimate tragedy’s Shakespeare ever told should grab their tickets now.
“It is a story of its time but also of all times. You only have to look at the politics in the world today to see Lear-type figures, secure in their power, making the wrong decisions while surrounded by those that would flatter them in the pursuit of their own advancement.” – London Theatre 1
For the first time, boldly transforming the ASB Waterfront Theatre for traverse staging (the audience will also be on stage), this ambitious large scale, sumptuous production will be one for the ages.
Having built an empire, the ageing Lear is poised to abdicate his crown. When he challenges his children to compete in a declaration of their love in return for his land, his favourite daughter, Cordelia refuses to play the game. Civilisation is thrust to the edge of chaos and Lear, unravelled and broken by his own vanity, will be forced to confront who he is for the very first time.
Tender, violent, moving, humbling, King Lear navigates the complexities and contradictions of human nature like no other piece of storytelling. Just as Shakespeare reflected the society of the day, Auckland Theatre Company’s production of King Lear continues to do so, reflecting the patriarchy and power dynamics of political and business dynamics of today.
At a time when we are all reconsidering the role of monarchy, Shakespeare’s great meditation on succession, family and country couldn’t be more potent.
Michael Hurst, one of Aotearoa’s greatest exponents of Shakespeare, takes the crown. Renowned for his boldly theatrical contemporary productions, this iconic artist will be joined by a large ensemble cast including; Fasitua Amosa (Sione’s Wedding, Young Rock 1&2), Andi Crown (Head High, The Gulf), Joe Dekkers Reihana (Disrupt, The Made, Shortland Street), Andrew Laing (Spartacus, Outrageous Fortune, Julius Caesar), Jessie Lawrence (Brokenwood Mysteries, My Life is Murder, North by Northwest), Colin McColl (Two Gentlemen of Verona, Travesties), Shadon Meredith (Shortland Street, Spartacus, Power Ranges), Cameron Rhodes (North by Northwest, Lord of the Rings, Brokenwood Mysteries,) Beatriz Romilly (Shortland Street, Grand Horizons) Hanah Tayeb (Shortland Street, A Dolls House), Hester Ullyart (One Lane Bridge, One Of Us Is Lying, Paragon Dreams) and Jennifer Ward-Lealand (The Wilds, Creamerie, Six Degrees of Separation, The Writer).
The formidable creative team lead by Co-Directors Michael Hurst and Benjamin Henson, includes costume designer Elizabeth Whiting, composer/sound designer John Gibson, set design by John Verryt, Vanda Karolczak on lighting design and vocal coach Kirstie O’Sullivan.
King Lear Presented by Auckland Theatre Company
Tuesday, June 13 – Saturday, July 1
ASB Waterfront Theatre
138 Halsey Street, Wynyard Quarter, Auckland
Co-Director: Michael Hurst
Co-Director: Benjamin Henson
Set Design: John Verryt
Costume Design: Elizabeth Whiting
Lighting Design: Vanda Karolczak
Sound Design: John Gibson
Vocal Coach: Kirstie O’Sullivan
Fasitua Amosa: Albany
Andi Crown: Goneril
Joe Dekkers Reihana: Edgar
Michael Hurst: King Lear
Andrew Laing: Oswald
Jessie Lawrence: Reagan
Shadon Meredith: Cornwall
Colin McColl: France
Cameron Rhodes: Gloucester
Beatriz Romily: Edmund
Hanah Tayeb: Cordelia
Hester Ullyart: The Fool
Jennifer Ward-Lealand: Kent