Top class cast for Summer Shakespeare's King Lear
King Lear, by William Shakespeare Outdoor Summer Shakespeare
Directed by Lisa Harrow
Producer: Oliver Rosser
Executive producers: Sam Neill, Alan Smythe
Starring: Michael Neill, Michael Hurst, Calum Gittins, Kate Watson, Peter Stevens, Michael Noonan, Anthea Hill, Geoff Snell
March 1-30, Tuesday to Saturday, 7.30pm, Old Arts Plaza, The University of Auckland
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Outdoor Summer Shakespeare at the University of Auckland, a breeding ground for theatrical talent over five decades.
To celebrate, the AUSA Outdoor Shakespeare Trust will present the Bard’s great 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 for many years.
Internationally renowned actress Lisa Harrow – formerly of the Royal Shakespeare Company and a cast member in the first Auckland Summer Shakespeare – brings a wealth of experience to her role as the production’s director.
She is joined by actor/director Michael Hurst, who serves as artistic consultant and plays Lear’s all-knowing Fool.
The part of Lear is taken by eminent Shakespearean scholar Professor Michael Neill, older brother of the show’s executive eroducer and famous leading man, Sam Neill.
The cast numbers more than 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, which was seen in Auckland a few years ago starring Sir Ian McKellen, tells the story of a patriarchal world dragged into disarray by a conflict between truth and madness.
Harrow, in conjunction with emerging set designer Jessika Verryt, aims to transport the audience back to a darker age, while holding a mirror up to our contemporary world.