Preview: Hurst gives his all - no holds Bard

By Rebecca Cawston

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GREAT MIX: Michael Hurst ensures slapstick and Shakespeare come together beautifully.
GREAT MIX: Michael Hurst ensures slapstick and Shakespeare come together beautifully.

To be or not to be ... is this the final curtain for this character?

Absurdity, insomnia, suicide, schizophrenia, Shakespeare and slapstick are all ingredients for actor Michael's Hurst's solo show No Holds Bard - a highly acclaimed comedy/physical theatre that centres on a stressed actor who gets some Shakespearian intervention. The actor is contemplating his own final curtain call in his dingy flat in the dead of night.

"Basically this actor is going crazy," Michael says. "Lines are running through his head ... this is a man under huge stress who has gone mad. He's almost Shakespearian in his conscious and his subconscious."

Hilarity ensues when Macbeth, King Lear and Othello arrive to help the hapless actor make the ultimate decision. But there's a twist, says Hurst, something you might not be expecting.

"The thing about the show is, I've been doing it for two years and we are developing it all the time.

"What you get now is a more sophisticated version."

The solo show contains a hilarious fight scene which will show off the actor's stage fighting skills.

"There's always a fight in a Shakespearian play and that was an idea - a physicality of the mental tussle."

The work is written by Hurst (who is recognisable from his work on The Almighty Johnsons, Hercules and Spartacus) Natalie Medlock and Dan Musgrove.

It has wide appeal beyond just Shakespearian fans, he says.

Hurst's other skills include directing, writing, dancing, singing and fencing choreography (he was also a fencing champion).

No Holds Bard:
Thursday, July 17,

- Bay of Plenty Times

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