2013 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Outdoor Summer Shakespeare at the University of Auckland, an institution that has served as a breeding ground for Auckland theatrical talent over the past five decades. To celebrate, the AUSA Outdoor Shakespeare Trust will present the Bard’s greatest tragedy, King Lear, for a season in March.
Featuring theatre professionals, alumni and current students, King Lear boasts the Summer Shakespeare’s most distinguished creative team to date. Internationally renowned actress Lisa Harrow – formerly of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and a cast member in the very first Auckland Summer Shakespeare – brings a wealth of experience to her role as the production’s director. She is joined by acclaimed NZ actor/director Michael Hurst, who serves as artistic consultant and plays Lear’s all-knowing Fool.
The part of Lear himself is taken by eminent Shakespearean scholar Professor Michael Neill, older brother of the show’s Executive Producer and famous leading man, Sam Neill. The cast numbers over 30 people and will serve to illustrate the increasingly demented king’s dystopia. Top New Zealand composer Gareth Farr will further underscore Lear’s pain with clashes of brass and percussion.
King Lear, a work seldom performed because of the sheer stamina required of its performers, tells the story of a patriarchal world dragged into disarray by a conflict between truth and madness. Harrow, in conjunction with Oscar-winning costume designer Ngila Dickson, NZ sculptor Michael Parakowhai, and emerging set designer Jessika Verryt, aims to transport the audience back to a darker age, while holding a mirror up to our contemporary world.
Join us to celebrate the past 50 years of a unique theatrical experience, and to launch the next 50 with a bang!
Come and help us make history.
Directed by Lisa Harrow, Starring: Michael Neill, Michael Hurst, Calum Gittins, Kate Watson, Peter Stevens, Michael Noonan, Anthea Hill, Geoff Snell, Producer: Oliver Rosser | Executive Producers: Sam Neill, Alan Smythe.