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Frequently Asked Questions - Michael Hurst

Frequently Asked
Questions (1) PIC CREDIT Stephen Tilley
Frequently Asked Questions PIC CREDIT Stephen Tilley

DOWNSTAGE SOLOS

THEATRE: NEW ZEALAND

WORLD PREMIERE

“Michael Hurst rises to the challenge with a performance that draws on the full range of his remarkable talent... ” The New Zealand Herald

Celebrated New Zealand actor Michael Hurst joins forces with two of New Zealand’s freshest young writers in an innovative new work, set in the Shakespearian afterlife. In Royale Productions’ Frequently Asked Questions: To Be or Not to Be, etc. an insomniac named Hamlet returns home to discover a script documenting the end of his life. He begins some serious late-night soul-searching: What a piece of work is a man? To be or not to be? These are his FAQs. And Hamlet can’t sleep until he knows.

In his debut solo work, Hurst melds his mastery of the Shakespearean form with an irreverent comic edge. One minute Hamlet is questioning his existence over a box of noodles; the next he is in conversation with himself, as Macbeth, Othello, and King Lear invade his room and relive their own death scenes in front of him. All this builds to an unforgettable battle sequence in which Hurst unleashes 30 years of stage combat experience… on himself.

Natalie Medlock and Dan Musgrove have been working with Hurst since early 2010 to develop this semi-autobiographical work. The Toi Whakaari graduates have written six plays together, including Dan Is Dead / I Am a Yeti for the 2011 New Zealand International Comedy Festival.

Michael Hurst (ONZM) is a New Zealand Arts Laureate (2003) and has directed plays, films and television including Spartacus and Hercules. His recent productions include Red (Auckland Theatre Company, 2011) and Cabaret (direction and acting, Auckland Theatre Company, 2010).

The 2012 Downstage Solos includes Circle of Eleven’s Leo, Royale Productions’ Frequently Asked Questions and Taki Rua’s Michael James Manaia.

Frequently Asked Questions is at Downstage Theatre from 2 to 11 March as part of the 2012 New Zealand International Arts Festival, Wellington, 24 February – 18 March. Tickets $43 – $48 available from Ticketek. Downstage Members will receive Friends of the Festival discount for Frequently Asked Questions by booking at any Ticketek agency or box office using their Downstage Members’ Society card.

CONTAINS LANGUAGE THAT MAY OFFEND

ENDSImage: Richard Haughton

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