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Trees Beneath the Lake

Maidment Theatre, Auckland, New Zealand
4-27 September 2014

Presented by Auckland Theatre Company
Written by Arthur Meek; directed by Simon Bennett

William Campbell
  Michael Hurst  
  Simon Bennett
Jennifer Campbell
  Theresa Healey  
  Philippa Campbell
Nieve Campbell
  Catherine Wilkin  
Set Designer
  Tracey Collins
Ruth Laughton
  Brooke Williams  
Set Design Supervisor
  Rachael Walker

Tom Mayhew

  Peter Hayden  
Costume Designer
  Sara Taylor
Ross Campbell
  Leighton Stichbury  
Lighting Designer
  Phillip Dexter MSc
  Jason Smith


(left) Peter Hayden

(left) Theresa Healey

(left) Leighton Stichbury

(left) Brooke Williams, (right) Catherine Wilkin


    Photos: Mike Smith

Reviews of Trees Beneath the Lake

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 ... a 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".

Tearaway: "Hurst's portrayal of William's skill in trickery really blurred the line between mask and man ... zingers and symbolism aside, that's what this is: a play that reflects the contemporary heart of New Zealand ... Trees Beneath the Lake has humour, tension, and silence that nibbles at your heartstrings".

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".