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

* BLACK DOG RELIEF: A CABARET FOR ROBBIE TRIPE
* BROKENWOOD MYSTERIES
* THE GENERATION OF Z: APOCALYPSE
* GLORY DAYS

* THE LADY KILLERS
* THE LION QUEEN
* A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
* OZ COMIC-CON
* TATAU
* TERRY TEO
* WHERE WERE YOU?
* XENA CONVENTION


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

28 February  Added Theatre Scenes review of A Midsummer Night's Dream to homepage

23 February  Added Where Were You?, Jennifer on Good Morning , trailer for Generation of Z, and photo from Xena con to homepage

21 February  Added Lumiere Reader review of A Midsummer Night's Dream to homepage

19 February  Added The Generation of Z: Apocalypse, and Theatreview and Theatre Scenes reviews of The Lady Killers to homepage

17 February  Added GayNZ.com review of A Midsummer Night's Dream to homepage

16 February  Added The Lion Queen to homepage

15 February  Added NZ Herald review of A Midsummer Night's Dream to homepage

14 February  Added Theatreview review of A Midsummer Night's Dream to homepage

1 February  Added The Lady Killers to homepage

28 January  Added No Holds Bard at Xena con and Black Dog Relief–A Cabaret for Robbie Tripe to homepage

24 January  Added Xena convention, Oz Comic-Con, Glory Days, and ART Awads 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

29 November  Added The Blind Date Project to Recent Projects

24 November  Created Decision 2014 page

22 November  Added season 2 of High Road and the press release for A Midsummer Night's Dream to homepage

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

13 November  Added the poster for season 2 of High Road and a behind-the-scenes video 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

3 November  Added link to buy tickets for A Midsummer Night's Dream 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

30 September  Added Michael and Jennifer going to Xena convention to Future Projects

28 September  Added the cast of Tatau to homepage

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

6 September  Added Tatau to Future Projects

11 August  Created An Unseasaonable Fall of Snow page

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

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

20 June  Added High Road to homepage

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.

 

MICHAEL DIRECTING A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM

Michael is directing A Midsummer Night's Dream for University of Auckland Summer Shakespeare, to be performed 13 February-7 March 2015 on the Old Arts Plaza on the University of Auckland campus.  With associate director Tom Bishop and producer Natalie Beran.  Michael is the Chair of the trust for AUSA Summer Shakespeare.

Click here for info and to book.

Theatre Scenes:  "one of the clearest productions of Shakespeare I have seen in terms of communicating the storytelling, and it achieves this without dumbing itself down ... this is a fresh, yet ultimately faithful production with actors well-schooled in the text.  You should bring along someone who is not so familiar, this produciton is the perfect gate-way drug to the wonders of Shakespeare".

Lumiere Reader:  "This is Shakespeare for people who had Shakespeare ruined for them in high school by over-analysis and interpretation.  One of the theatrical highlights of the summer season that shouldn’t be missed.  Go see it and be spellbound".

GayNZ.com: "the success of creating a Shakespeare lies, not in the ability to stage individual scenes or even to build good performances, but the capacity to overview the whole journey, to tell the story, and this Hurst has done, and always does, exceptionally well.  There's a dark heart to Shakespeare's play and this is often overlooked in the endless search for laughter and romance but not so in this case.  We need both and Hurst and his excellent cast have given us this and with oodles to spare ... It's world class Shakespeare"

NZ Herald:  "With Michael Hurst at the helm the Summer Shakespeare strikes an appealing balance between the finesse of a fully professional production and the anarchaic exuberance of students hacing a bit of a lark.  The brilliantly inventive stagecraft energises a uniformly excellent cast who bring a clear sense of purpose to the smallest details of their performances".

Theatreview:  "A Perfect Midsummer Night Out ... I am in nirvana.  I wanted this to be good.  Thanks everyone for not undermining my book reader's vision of A Midsummer Night's Dream ... If I lived closer I think I would be at this show every night".

Click here to listen to Michael talk about A Midsummer Night's Dream on RadioNZ Concert.

(photo: Amber-Rose Henshall as Puck, Alistair Browning as Oberon)

From the press release:

"MICHAEL HURST'S FRENZY OF FRANTIC LOVE .... Valentine's Day just got a whole lot sexier, you guys.  This February 14, the mistakes and follies of young love, wildly hammy amateur acting and warring fairies are whipped up into a maelstrom by a cast aged 18 to 94 when A Midsummer Night's Dream opens the annual Auckland Summer Shakespeare season".


JENNIFER TO CO-PRODUCE AND DIRECT WHERE WERE YOU?

Last Tapes Theatre Company and The Large Group are co-producing 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.

Actress Lucy Lawless is a supporter of the production.  Please see her short video below:

 


MICHAEL AND JENNIFER WERE CELEBRITY GUESTS AT OFFICIAL XENA CONVENTION

Michael and Jennifer were the final guests at the 20th Annual (and last) Official Xena Conention presented by Creation Entertainment at the Burbank Marriott Airport Hotel, Burbank, CA, 20- 22 February 2015.  At the end of their session, Michael took this photo from the stage of Jennifer with the fans:


JENNIFER TO DIRECT AND PERFORM IN BLACK DOG RELIEF – A CABARET FOR ROBBIE TRIPE

Jennifer will direct and perform in this cabaret to honor actor Robbie Tripe, known for his performances in Shortland Street and Power Rangers, as well as roles in The Strip, The Truth about Demons, and Radio Hauraki docu-drama Three Mile Limit.

Colleen Davis, Andrew Laing, and Rima Te Wiata will also perform, with musical director Paul Barrett.  All proceeds to the Mental Health Foundation.

At Q Theatre, 1 March 2015; click here to book.

Jennifer will be a guest on Good Morning (9am, TVOne) on Friday 27 February 2015 to talk about the cabaret.


MICHAEL DIRECTING THE GENERATION OF Z: APOCALYPSE

Michael is directing this immersive theatre show in London, opening 4 April, at 69-89 Mile End Road, London.  Click here for info and tickets.  Watch the trailer below.



MICHAEL DOES FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY FOR THE LADY KILLERS

Michael did the fight choreography for Auckland Theatre Company's production of The Lady Killers, at Maidment Theatre, 14 February-7 March 2015.  Click here for info and to book.

Theatreview:  "Credit must also be given to Michael Hurst's seamless stunt choreography that ensures the quick, often brutish exchanges are lively and impactful with no trace of stylised cliches".

Theatrescenes:  "The cast proves the physical and intellectual demand of farce an achievable one thanks to Michael Hurst's signature stunt choreography and their own natural timing, 


MICHAEL TO BE CELEBRITY GUEST AT OZ COMIC-CON

Michael will be a celebrity guest at Oz Comic-Con at Perth Conention & Exhibition Centre, Perth, Western Australia (11-12 April 2015) and at Adelaide Showgrounds, Adelaide, South Australia (18-19 April 2015). He will do a Q&A on stage, plus he and Kevin Sorbo will do a "Hercules Dinner" on Saturday night at each location with a maximum of 10 fans.  Click here for info and tickets.


 

JENNIFER IS FEATURED IN GLORY DAYS

Jennifer is featured in vintage lifestyle magazine Glory Days, issue 9, The Hollywood Issue (February 2015).

Click here for info on where to buy it, or here to order online.

 


MICHAEL DIRECTING TATAU

Michael is directing 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, for airing in 2015.  Michael filmed his episodes in October/November 2014 and finished post-production in February 2015.

Tagata Pasifika did a behind-the-scenes story on the filming of Tatau on The Cook Islands, with 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.


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 16 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
AVAILABLE ON DVD;
SEASON TWO ANNOUNCED

Michael directed the third episode of The Brokenwood Mysteries, which aired in New Zealand on Prime in October 2014.  It 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 TO GUEST STAR IN TERRY TEO

Jennifer will play Barbara Bertinelli in the third episode of Terry Teo, a revival of the classic Kiwi TV show, filmed early November 2014.  Michael will play 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
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 28 February 2014).

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