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Michael Hurst stars in play adaptation of Mahy classic

Auckland Theatre Company media release
26 May, 2014

Shiver me timbers! Michael Hurst to play extraordinary mother

Award-winning actor and director Michael Hurst is set to walk the planks this July in a rollicking role as the pirate mother in Auckland Theatre Company's (ATC) stage adaptation of Margaret Mahy's The Man Whose Mother Was a Pirate.

This hilarious and heart-warming family tale, which runs from 4-8 July at Takapuna's Bruce Mason Centre, has long been a firm New Zealand favourite since it first hit the shelves more than three decades ago.

Like the book, children and adults alike will enjoy the memorable story of timid office worker, Sam, who throws caution to the wind and takes off on a journey to the sea with his wonderfully adventurous and extraordinary mother - a pirate.

Although Michael won't have to scupper his breeches and waistcoat for a dress, he's looking forward to the challenges of playing Sam's rebellious sea faring mum, and the honour of bringing to life the book of New Zealand's most acclaimed children's author.

"This fabulous journey of high jinks and hilarity has a few important life lessons thrown in as well.

"Margaret's stories never shied away from tough topics and she always managed to tackle the complexities of human relationships and growing up. It's what makes her stories so successful. I'm sure the messages in this marvellous adapted play will resonate with many adults, as well as the kids," Hurst says.

Joining Hurst is a stellar line-up of acclaimed New Zealand's actors including Alison Bruce (Angels in America, Speaking in Tongues, The Almighty Johnsons), Kip Chapman (The Cult, Top of The Lake), Olivia Tennet (Underbelly NZ: Land of The Long Green Cloud, The Almighty Johnsons, Shortland St), Brett O'Gorman (A Midsummer Night's Dream, Kings of the Gym, Did I Believe it?) and Renee Lyons (Super City).

Don't stay marooned at home next school holidays - join our Pirate Mum and have a grand ol' time.

For more information or to book tickets visit


Director: Ben Crowder
Set Designer: John Verryt
Costume Designer: Elizabeth Whiting
Lighting Designer: Nik Janiurek
Sound Designer/Composer: Thomas Press

Mother: Michael Hurst
Little Man in the Brown Suit: Brett O'Gorman
Parrot: Renee Lyons
Terrible Crabmeat (Dog) & Ensemble: Kip Chapman
Mr Fat/Ensemble: Alison Bruce
Rosy Sea Captain/Ensemble: Olivia Tennet

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