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 ACTORS' PROGRAM
* THE ALMIGHTY JOHNSONS
* BIG SCREEN SYMPOSIUM
* THE BROKENWOOD MYSTERIES

* DECISION 2014
* HIGH ROAD
* INORGANIC

* A MIDSUMMER NIGHT''S DREAM
* NEW ZEALAND SINGING SCHOOL

* NO HOLDS BARD
* OPEN
* OUR BIG BLUE BACKYARD
* SPARTACUS

* TATAU
* TREES BENEATH THE LAKE


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

14 September  Added Tatau and A Midsummer Night's Dream to homepage

13 September  Added The Actors' Program auditions to homepage

9 September  Added NBR review of Trees Beneath the Lake, link to Trees Beneath the Lake production photos, enrollment deadline for NZ Singing School, and The Brokenwood Mysteries trailer to homepage

8 September  Added production photo and NZ Herald, Keeping Up with New Zealand, Metro, RadioNZ, TV3, Theatrevuew, and Jawkward reviews of Trees Beneath the Lake to homepage

7 September  Updated The Almighty Johnsons on SyFy on homepage

6 September  Added Tatau to Future Projects

4 September  Added Trees Beneath the Lake interview video, Decision 2014 part 5, and Jennifer directing Speak workshop to homepage

31 August  Added Big Screen Symposium and Jennifer teaching at New Zealand Singing School to homepage

30 August  Added a link to Trees Beneath the Lake rehearsal photos to homepage

28 August  Added Decision 2014 video part 4 to homepage

27 August  Added Decision 2014 video part 3 to homepage

26 August  Added Decision 2014 video part 2 to homepage

25 August  Added Decision 2014 video part 1 to homepage

23 August  Added Introducing: Open (Jack's band featured on RadioNZ) to homepage

21 August  Added No Holds Bard at Arts Festival Dunedin to homepage

19 August  Added link to the press release for Trees Beneath the Lake; added Jennifer speaking at Zonta Club of East Auckland to homepage

11 August  Created An Unseasaonable Fall of Snow page

5 August  Added design team for Trees Beneath the Lake to homepage

4 August  Added Trees Beneath the Lake and Jennifer teaching at Howick Little Theatre to homepage

27 July  Added Jennifer speaking at AUT to homepage

25 July  Added the name of Michael's Brokenwood Mysteries episode to homepage

22 July  Added link to Jennifer's profile on Native Affairs to homepage

19 July  Added Jennifer's profile on Native Affairs to homepage

15 July  Added A Midsummer Night's Dream to Future Projects

13 July  Added dates for Michael's Spartacus episodes airing on SyFy and Inorganic going to Badalona Film Festival to homepage

10 July  Added Blu-ray and dvd release info for Spartacus: The Complete Series to homepage

7 July  Created The Man Whose Mother Was a Pirate page

3 July  Added descripton and new photo for Brokenwood Mysteries to homepage

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

20 June  Added High Road to homepage

5 June  Added link to Almighty Johnsons press release to homepage

1 June  Added Lost Hope to Future Projects

16 May  Added The Jews Brothers' Bloomsday to homepage

19 April  Added The Brokenwood Mysteries to homepage

17 March  Updated Brel page with photos from 4 March performance at Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall; added Jennifer teaching Flying Solo masterclass at Hamilton Operatic Society to homepage

9 March  Added pic of Jennifer teaching for Hamilton Operatic Society to homepage

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

29 December  Added Gather and Hunt review of King Lear to King Lear page

21 October  Added Nelson Mail and Theatreview reviews of Brel in Nelson to Brel page

11 October  Added Almighty Johnsons season 3 dvd's to homepage

30 September  Created Spartacus: War of the Damned 'Decimation' page, with screen caps, cast list, etc.

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.

 

MICHAEL STARS IN TREES BENEATH THE LAKE

Michael is starring as William Campbell in the world premiere of Arthur Meek's Trees Beneath the Lake for Auckland Theatre Company at Maidment Theatre, 4-27 September 2014.  With Theresa Healey, Catherine Wilkin, Brooke Williams, Peter Hayden and Leighton Stichbury; directed by Simon Bennett, with design by Tracey Collins, Sara Taylor, and Phillip Dexter.

REVIEWS

NZ Herald:  "Michael Hurst's portrayal of a despicable conman is a finely nuanced performance ... engaging performances from a superb ensemble uncover plenty of vitality in the explosive conflicts".

Metro:  "the genius of Hurst's take is that we're never sure when he's playing the character for truth ... Trees Beneath the Lake matches its big themes with big drama and big laughs.  Meek has my complete confidence; give him yours too".

RadioNZ Concert (listen below):  "It's wonderful to watch Michael work with such ease and charm ... There's a complexity with what Arthur's playing with these different characters.  It's wonderful to see a company, led by Simon Bennett, that's so strong".

Keeping Up with New Zealand:  "William, played with supercilious aplomb by Michael Hurst ... This is a story that will engage and entertain you ... Superlative acting ... wonderful script ... superb set design"

TV3:  "It ought to become a modern masterpiece: an accomplished, questioning reflection of time and society, with extraordinarily rich characters ... It's hugely exciting to see an original Kiwi production this ambitious and accomplished".

NBR:  "Michael Hurst as William gave a punchy performance ... clever, thoughtful and entertaining play”

Theatreview:  "With his exemplary cast, director Simon Bennett presents a well-realised, skilfully performed, recognisably small-town Kiwi family ... entertaining and clever"

Jawkward:  "what really propels the play from good to great is the acting.  Michael Hurst et al are solid, delivering lines and attitude that perfectly match the pace of the script ... quite possibly the best play I've seen by ATC so far"

Read press release here; click here for info and to book.  ATC has posted 63 rehearsal photos and 25 production photos to its Facebook page.

In the aftermath of the global recession, former golden boy William Campbell's political dreams and financual practices have hit the rocks.  Facing an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office, he returns to his mother Nieve's central Otago home in a last-ditch effort to salvage his marriage, fortune and reputation.  However, the place is not what it used to be.  Years ago the Campbells lost their battle to save the family orchard from being flooded beneath the waters of the Clyde Dam.  Now, as Nieve's family reconvenes to fight for their future, the fiercely-proud matriarch accidentally shines a devastating new light on their past.

Past and present collide and startling revelations rip through genteel pleasantries, as a family steels itself once more for a fight to hold onto the past. Trees Beneath the Lake examines the fictions we tell ourselves and those we love in order to keep our personal stocks high.

Urgent, relevant, and dramatic.


With Catherine Wilkin

Michael, Theresa Healey and director Simon Bennett talk Trees Beneath the Lake in the fun interview below (featuring scenes from the play):

 


DECISION 2014

Pre-election politics in New Zealand; parts 1-4:

New part 5 (added 4 September 2014)  


NO HOLDS BARD AT ARTS FESTIVAL DUNEDIN  

Michael will perform his solo show No Holds Bard at Fortune Theatre on 15-18 October 2014.  Click here for info; click here to book.

REVIEWS

Edinburgh Spotlight:  "a tsunami of a performance ... feats of physical and mental ingenuity.  It elicits gasps as well as laughs, and shifts acrobatically between comedy of an almost stand-up nature and emotionally-rooted tragedy.  A breath of fresh Shakespeare air and a comedic head-bashing all in one!"

Broadway Baby:  "Hurst is the quintessential stage performer ... No Holds Bard is incredibly riveting and utterly entertaining; a breathtakingly visionary and deeply emotional theatrical masterpiece"

SG Fringe:  "Michael Hurst gives a bravura performance of immense energy and intensity, brilliantly walking the tightrope between genuine tragedy and insane comedy, readhing incredible heights ... The audience were gripped, moved and entertained in equal measure".

Go to the No Holds Bard website for more info, pics and reviews.


MICHAEL TO DIRECT TATAU

Michael is directing two episodes of the new 8-episode drama series Tatau, produced by Touchpaper TV and South Pacific Pictures for the BBC.  Michael is in pre-production and will begin filming his episodes in October. 

Click here for more on Tatau.


JENNIFER TO MODERATE PANEL AT BIG SCREEN SYMPOSIUM

Jennifer will be the moderator of a panel discussing the use of Tikanga and Te Reo in screen stories at the Big Screen Symposium on 28 September 2014 at University of Auckland Business School.  Click here for info.


AUDITIONING APPLICANTS TO THE ACTORS' PROGRAM

Michael and Jennifer will be on the audition panel for applicants to the 2015 class of The Actors' Program, on 27 September (Michael and Jennifer), 4 October (Michael), and 11 October (Michael and Jennifer), and for callback auditions on 19 October.


INTRODUCING: OPEN

Michael and Jennifer's son Jack is in a band named Open, which was introduced on the Music 101 show on RadioNZ National, 23 August 2014. 

 


THE ALMIGHTY JOHNSONS ON SYFY

The Almighty Johnsons was picked up by Syfy and had its US premiere on Friday 11 July.  Click here for press release.

It is now on hiatus after they have finished airing the first season, but according to SyFy's website, it will return in November 2014.  Michael guest stars as Kvasir in episodes 2.1 and 2.11-2.13; click here for screen caps.

Jennifer plays Michele's mother Karen in episode 3.4-3.6, and Michael directed episodes 3.7 and 3.8.  Click here for more info on the show.

 


JENNIFER TO TEACH AT NZ SINGING SCHOOL

Jennifer will teach her masterclass 'Flying Solo' at New Zealand Singing School, 7-17 January 2015, EIT Campus, Hawke's Bay. 

Click here for info and to register.  Enrollments close 19 September 2014.


SPARTACUS: THE COMPLETE SERIES RELEASED ON BLU-RAY AND DVD

Starz has announced that the complete Spartacus series will be released as a box set, with extra content, on Blu-ray and dvd, on 16 September 2014. 

Click here for the press release.

Michael directed 3 episodes of Spartacus: Blood and Sand ('Shadow Games,' 'Whore,' 'Revelations') one of Spartacus: Gods of the Arena ('Paterfamilias'), two of Spartacus: Vengeance ('Fugitivus,' 'Chosen Path') and two of Spartacus: War of the Damned ('Decimation,' "The Dead and the Dying').

Spartacus is now being shown on SyFy in the US.  Upcoming episodes that Michael directed: 'Paterfamilias' (18 September).

JENNIFER GUEST STARS IN HIGH ROAD

Jennifer will have a guest role in episodes 2.5 and 2.7 of High Road (web series), filmed in July 2014.  Filmed in Piha, High Road is about retired progressive rocker Terry Huffer trying to change his life.  He decides to start a local radio station in Piha to support the community.  Turns out the community sees it differently.

Written and directed by Justin Harwood, starring Mark Mitchison, Peter Muller, and Danielle Mason.

Click here for the show's Facebook page; watch the first season below.


 

MICHAEL DIRECTED THE BROKENWOOD MYSTERIES

In May and June, Michael directed episode 1.03 "Playing the Lie" of these two-hour murder mysteries from South Pacific Pictures, to air on Prime.  "Set in a seemingly quiet country town where the newest resident, Senior Sergeant Mike Shepherd, finds that murder lurks in even the most homely location".  Starring Fern Sutherland and Neill Rea; click here for the complete cast list.

Click here for NZ Herald article; click here for The Brokenwood Mysteries' Facebook page.

 

MICHAEL NARRATES OUR BIG BLUE BACKYARD

Michael narrated the 6 episode documentary series Our Big Blue Backyard, which is scheduled to premiere on TVOne on Sunday 2 November 2014 at 7:30 p.m.  The series explores six unique marine locations around New Zealand's coastlines.  Click here for info.


MICHAEL TO DIRECT A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM

Michael will direct A Midsummer Night's Dream for University of Auckland Summer Shakespeare, 13 February-7 March 2015 on the Old Arts Plaza.  With associate director Tom Bishop and producer Natalie Beran.

Michael is the Chair of the trust for AUSA Summer Shakespeare. 

 

On 14 September, the cast did a first read-through of the play.


 

INORGANIC SHOWING AT FILM FESTIVALS

Short film Inorganic, a wickedly funny film reflecting the distorted values of a throw-away society, was shown at the Galway Film Fleadh in Galway, Ireland on 11 July 2014.  Michael plays Brett.

It is also an official selection at Badalona Film Festival in Badalona, Spain, 17-26 October 2014. 

Inorganic was also among the short films taken to Canne this year by the New Zealand Film Commission.

Click here for Inorganic on Facebook.


 

 

 

 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
is intended. All copyrighted materials remain the property of the original copyright holder.
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 13 September 2014).

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