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Michael Hurst Would like to Have a Word

Michael Hurst Presents
As part of Auckland Fringe

Michael Hurst want to talk to you. He wants to be close to you, to see you. He wants to tell you about being on the edge, about madness, about what it’s like when an actor loses their grip on reality.

With calamitous help from some of Shakespeare’s most brilliant yet erratic characters, Hurst would like you to see him up close and personal in the claustrophobic and highly intimate underground space that is Q Theatre’s Vault, to hear his ode to the crazy life of an obsessive actor, in No Holds Bard, playing from 25 – 29 February as part of Auckland Fringe during Summer at Q.

“Driven to the brink by a painful separation and really bad reviews, an ageing thespian confronts his demons in what he thinks will be his dark night of the soul. The problem is, his demons are crazier than he is…”

Seven years in the making, No Holds Bard lives up to its name as Hurst brings decades of craft and consummate skill to this absurd theatrical tour de force. Four of Shakespeare’s greatest creations, warp into outrageousness in a paranoid, existential mash-up, where they come kicking and screaming into the bursting brain of an ageing actor struggling to find relevance as his time runs out.

***** “A bravura performance of immense energy and intensity, brilliantly walking the tightrope between genuine tragedy and insane comedy.” – SG Fringe, Edinburgh

Having toured extensively around New Zealand, Australia and to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Hurst has been constantly developing the piece until now, when it is in the best shape it has ever been.

I have been wanting to bring this work to Q Theatre for the last 7 years” laughs Hurst. “Mental health challenges are hugely prevalent in communities right now, especially in the acting industry. This character and the collapse of his world is something I want people to expereince in a truly intimate way. With an audience capacity of only 60, I want to talk to each and every audience member. I want them to see and feel the blood, sweat and tears that make this character more relevant than ever.”

One of NZ’s most revered actors Hurst has decided to present this work in the Auckland Fringe programme because he feels it’s important to open up the experience of in-your-face, full-on, no holds barred acting to a younger audience.

“I have chosen to stage No Holds Bard in a small venue with a low-ticket price so that I can both intensify the experience and deliver it a new audience,” says Hurst “High octane acting up-close is thrilling for the performer as well as for the audience. I think the experience of this kind of storytelling is a deep-seated and necessary aspect of life. Something everyone should have access to.”

Dealing with themes of identity, madness, and personal relevance and the lonely plight of the long -distance actor, his performance has been described by critics as ‘exhilarating’, ‘brilliant’, ‘deranged’, ‘hilarious’ and ‘soulful’.

No Holds Bard was originally created with Natalie Medlock and Dan Musgrove.

Q Theatre, Vault
25 – 29 February, 8.30pm
Running time 70 minutes
Ticket Prices:
$32.00 Adult
$20.00 Under 25, Unwaged, Students, NZ Equity, Senior Citizens.
Booking fees may apply.
Book at

Warnings: Loud noises. Adult themes. Strong language. Cooking.


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