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 ANZAC CONCERT - AROHAINA MAI
* ASH vs. EVIL DEAD
* AUCKLAND WRITER'S FESTIVAL

* BROKENWOOD MYSTERIES
* FALLOUT - THE SINKING OF THE RAINBOW WARRIOR
* THE GENERATION OF Z: APOCALYPSE

* THE LION QUEEN
* STEP DAVE
* TATAU
* TERRY TEO
* WHERE WERE YOU?


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

24 April  Added Horror Cult Films review of Generation of Z to homepage

23 April  Added TNT Magazine, Gay Times, and The Upcoming reviews of Generation of Z to homepage

22 April  Added LondonTheatre1 and Digital Spy reviews of The Generation of Z to homepage

21 April  Added Anzac Concert and Brokenwood Mysteries award and airing in the US to homepage

11 April  Added Ash vs. Evil Dead and pic from Oz Comic-Con to homepage

2 April  Added new Generation of Z trailer to homepage

30 March  Added teaching The Actors' Program to homepage

29 March  Added change of title from Where Were You? to Fallout - The Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior on homepage

27 March  Created The Lady Killers page

25 March  Added trailer for Tatau and date for Tatau premiere on BBC3 to homepage

22 March  Added Generation of Z description to homepage

17 March  Added Auckland Writer's Festival to homepage

15 March  Added premiere date for Tatau on BBC America to homepage

10 March  Added Michael's LondonTheatre1 interview about Generation of Z to homepage

8 March  Added Step Dave to homepage

2 March  Added Jubilation to homepage

23 February  Added Where Were You?, trailer for Generation of Z to homepage

19 February  Added The Generation of Z: Apocalypse to homepage

16 February  Added The Lion Queen to homepage

24 January  Added Oz Comic-Con and Glory Days to homepage; created Our Big Blue Backyard page and Undercover Rescue page

25 December  Added The Other Side of Love and Step Dave to Future Projects

18 December  Added announcement of season two of The Brokenwood Mysteries

12 December  Added dvd release of The Brokenwood Mysteries to homepage

24 November  Created Decision 2014 page

16 November  Added video of behind-the-scenes of Tatau to homepage

10 November  Added Michael's character's name in Terry Teo to homepage

9 November  Added Michael guest starring in Terry Teo to homepage

29 October  Added Jennifer in Terry Teo to homepage

22 October  Created Generation of Z/Zombie: Red Zone page

17 October  Added the plot outline of Tatau to homepage

2 October  Created Trees Beneath the Lake page

28 September  Added the cast of Tatau to homepage

14 September  Added Tatau to homepage

6 September  Added Tatau to Future Projects

11 August  Created An Unseasaonable Fall of Snow page

7 July  Created The Man Whose Mother Was a Pirate page

27 June  Added video snippets of the play to King Lear page

24 June  Created Swept Away by the Romantics page

23 June  Created Luncheon and Jews Brothers Bloomsday pages

22 June  Created Creative Mornings page

1 June  Added Lost Hope to Future Projects

17 March  Updated Brel page with photos from 4 March performance at Great Hall, Auckland Town Hal to homepage

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

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

 

 

 



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.

 

JENNIFER TO PERFORM IN ANZAC CONCERT 

Jennifer is one of the performers in The Anzac Concert - Arohaina Mai, which will be broadcast on Maori TV on Saturday, 25 April 2015 at 9:30 p.m.  Other announced performers include Annie Crummer, Maisey Rika, Julia Deans, Seth Haapu, Rob Ruha, and Moana Manipoto.  Click here for info.


MICHAEL DIRECTING STEP DAVE

Michael is directing the final 2 episodes (12 and 13) of the second season of Kiwi tv series Step Dave, beginning 14 April 2015.  The TVNZ show stars Sia Trokenheim, Jono Kenyon, Rawiri Jobe, Tanya Nolan, Aidee Walker, William Wallace, Tainui Tukiwaho, Lisa Harrow, Maya Wyatt, Lily Powell, and George Beca.  Click here for info.


Michael was in London for 6 weeks from mid-February directing this immersive theatre show, running 4 April – 5 July 2015 at 69-89 Mile End Road, London, presented by Riverside Studio, Luke Johnson, Andy Harries, Generation of Z Ltd, and Jean Doumanian.  Click here for info and tickets.  Check out the latest news and photos on their Facebook page.

REVIEWS

LondonTheatre1:  "... This is not just a scare-fest ... but is a genuine theatrical performance where Director Michael Hurst moves his team of actors ... along with the audience around like puppets on a string. For me as an audience member it was an amazingly emotional show.  A mixture of subliminal fear, genuine horror, pathos and some lovely bits of unexpected comedy had me gripped from the moment we entered"

Horror Cult Films:  "... theatre at its most immersive ... actors who sell the hell out of every scene ... get yourself down to London's east end ... it's worth every penny".

The Upcoming:  "... The actors revel in their characters.  Audience participation is not encouraged; it is enforced ... Acting is of an exceptionally high standard"

Digital Spy:  "... it's undoubtedly the best of its kind out there ... The make-up artists have done an incredible job, the zombies are genuinely scary, the acting is excellent and it even has a decent story"

Gay Times:  "... it is not a haunted house scare fest, it is a fully realized play ... Given the mammoth task of not only acting but also engaging and incorporating the audience into the story, the cast were phenomenal"

TNT Magazine: "East London's latest must-see ... Immersive theatre at its gruesome best".

The Generation of Z is pioneering a new form of high-octane, interactive storytelling.  Set amongst the chaos of a zombie apocalypse, GenZ throws the audience into their own live video game, where every "survivor" can directly influence the show's narrative and outcome.  Will you cower against the walls, or rise up to be the hero?

Forget watching this from your seat - GenZ is multimedia theatre on steroids, where every choice is life or death.  What would you do to survive?

LondonTheatre1 did an interview with Michael about creating immersive theatre; read it here.


MICHAEL DIRECTS TATAU

Michael directed episodes 6 and 7 of the new 8-episode fantasy drama series Tatau, produced by Touchpaper TV and South Pacific Pictures for BBC Three (UK) and BBC America (USA).  It is written by Richard Zajdlic and stars Joe Layton and Theo Barklem-Biggs, with Barry Atsma, Shushila Takao, Cian Elyse White, Tai Berdinner-Blades, Temuera Morrison, Alex Tarrant, Rawiri Jobe, Kirk Torrance and Rangimoana Taylor.  It was filmed September-December 2014, in The Cook Islands and New Zealand.  Michael filmed his episodes in October/November 2014 and he finished post-production in February 2015.

The show will premiere in the UK on Saturday, 12 April on BBC3, and in the US on Saturday, 18 April 2015 on BBC America.  Click here for info, or see the show's Facebook page.

 

Tagata Pasifika did a behind-the-scenes story on the filming of Tatau on The Cook Islands, including scenes of Michael directing; watch it below.

From the show's Facebook page:

"Kyle is unsettled when local people react to his tattoo: it clearly has a significance that he is entirely unaware of.   It’s like he’s been marked out for something – but what?

"Later, while snorkelling in a lagoon, Kyle finds the body of a local girl, Aumea, tied up underwater – dead.  Returning to the lagoon with the police, Kyle finds her corpse has disappeared.  Budgie wonders if his best friend is going mad – he’s imagining things. But Kyle knows what he saw.  And he’s also beginning to realise that he has a gift – or a curse: the murder he’s witnessed isn’t something that has happened, it’s something that will happen in the future.

"Kyle and Budgie find themselves sucked into a desperate race to prevent Aumea’s murder, as Kyle learns that his gifts don’t stop at prophecy… and the full meaning of his tattoo is revealed".

Click here for a BBC press release (25 September 2014) on Tatau.


JENNIFER TO CO-PRODUCE/DIRECT FALLOUT - THE SINKING OF THE RAINBOW WARRIOR

Last Tapes Theatre Company and The Large Group are co-producing Fallout - The Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior (formerly Where Were You?), a play re-counting the sinking of the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior in Auckland Harbour on 10 July 1985, an act of terrorism that changed New Zealand forever.  In this, the 30-year anniversary of the event, Where Were You? will bring this culturally significant event back into the spotlight to examine how it contributed to the establishment of New Zealand's unique position as a nuclear free country.

Jennifer will direct and produce (for The Large Group).  It will be presented 19-30 May at The Basement.

The producers are asking for support via The Art Foundation's crowd-funding site, Boosted.  Please click here for more information about the show, or to donate.  Also supported by Greenpeace and PADET.

The video below is narrated by the captain of the Rainbow Warrior:



MICHAEL AT AUCKLAND WRITERS FESTIVAL

Michael will be in conversation with actor Alan Cumming discussing his memoir Not My Father's Son, at 'An Evening with Alan Cumming' on Friday, 15 May 2015 at 7:15 p.m. in ASB Theatre.  Click here for info and to book.

Michael will also be reading from the book Letters to Vera, a collection of Vladimir Nabokov's letters to his wife, in a session with Brian Boyd, the book's co-editor/co-translator and leading Nabokov scholar.  This free session will be Sunday 17 May 2015 at 3:00 p.m. in Upper NZI Room, Aotea Centre.  Click here for info.


MICHAEL TO DIRECT ASH vs. EVIL DEAD

Michael will direct two episodes of new Starz tv series Ash vs. Evil Dead in June 2015.  It is being produced by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert and will star Bruce Campbell, Lucy Lawless, Jill Marie Jones, Ray Santiago, and Dana DeLorenzo.  Click here for info.


MICHAEL NARRATES THE LION QUEEN

Michael narrated 6-episode documentary series The Lion Queen for Top Shelf Productions.  It was shown on Animal Planet across Africa, in the Middle East, and in parts of Europe in February 2015.  Click here for details; see their Facebook page.

The Lion Queen is the story of Andi Rive, a midwife from the city who has fallen in love with the fifty lions at Glen Garriff Lion Reserve. With her dedicated team of staff, family and volunteers, Andi and close friend Traci, Glen Garriff's CEO, are tasked with keeping the struggling reserve afloat, fending off creditors, lawyers and hunters.

Andi has made a commitment to manage and try to save Glen Garriff.  It's a huge task – finding food for the lions, money to cover running costs, and learning how to run an 860 hectare reserve which has lions and other wildlife, a lodge, and staff.

Watch the trailer below:


BROKENWOOD MYSTERIES WINS INTERNATIONAL AWARD, TO BE AVAILABLE IN THE USA BEGINNING IN MAY

The Brokenwood Mysteries has won the Bronze World Medal in the Television Drama category at the New York Festivals International Television and Film Awards.  Michael directed the third episode (of four), 'Playing the Lie', which aired in New Zealand on Prime in October 2014.

The show will be available in the US on AcornTV beginning 4 May 2015; Michael's episode will be available beginning 18 May.  Click here for info.

The show stars Neill Rea and Fern Sutherland, with Pana Hema Taylor, Nic Sampson, Christina Ionda, Colin Moy, Andi Crown, and Miriama McDowell.

The four two-hour mystery movies were released as a dvd set on 11 December 2014, and a second season was announced on 15 December 2014.

JENNIFER AND MICHAEL GUEST STAR IN TERRY TEO

Jennifer plays Barbara Bertinelli in the third episode of Terry Teo, a revival of the classic Kiwi TV show, filmed early November 2014.  Michael plays Cornelius Jones in one episode, filmed mid-December.  The show will air on TV2.

Click here for info.


 

 

 

 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
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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 24 April 2015).

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