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Royale Productions presents Michael Hurst in No Holds Bard

"a tsunami of a performance ... A breath of fresh Shakespeare air and a comedic head-bashing all in one!" (Edinburgh Spotlight)

Do you know what happens to old actors?  Nothing.  They're still acting.

Driven to the brink by the infidelity of his wife and a lack of acting opportunities, an aging thespian confronts his demons in what he hopes will be a final "dark night of the soul".  The problem is, his demons are as crazy as he is.

A glorious tour de force in which four of Shakespeare's greatest creations (a foul-mouthed Macbeth, a confused Hamlet, a know-it-all Othello, and a really hungry King Lear) come kicking and screaming into the bursting, deranged brain of a single man. 

NO HOLDS BARD sees celebrated actor Michael Hurst join forces with two of New Zealand's freshest writing talents for an outrageous and at times profound view into one actor's attempt at self destruction.


New Zealand tour - August 2018
Click here for announcement.  Details to follow.

No Holds Bard interview, July 2013  



Reviews (more here)

Edinburgh Spotlight: " * * * * a tsunami of a performance ... feats of physical and mental ingenuity.  It elicits gasps as well as laughs, and shifts acrobatically between comedy of an almost stand-up nature and emotionally-rooted tragedy.  A breath of fresh Shakespeare air and a comedic head-bashing all in one!"

Broadway Baby: " * * * * *  Hurst is the quintessential stage performer ... No Holds Bard is incredibly riveting and utterly entertaining; a breathtakingly visionary and deeply emotional theatrical masterpiece that has raised the bar on where and how the Bard can travel from page to the stage".

SG Fringe:  " * * * * *  Michael Hurst gives a bravura performance of immense energy and intensity, brilliantly walking the tightrope between genuine tragedy and insane comedy, reaching incredible heights ... The audience were gripped, moved and entertained in equal measure".

Lumiere Reader:  " ... a hilarious and impressive take on Shakespeare that makes fun of the Bard’s heroes as much as it embraces them ... scenes where Hurst has to stage a fight with himself that are jawdropping ... The best thing about this show, other than Hurst, is how accessible it is ... Hurst’s performance is one that stands up universally and the script is one that will travel and appeal to any audience".

Theatreview: Michael Hurst in exhilarating form taking us on a well-crafted, clever, uproariously funny and ultimately moving journey … smart and witty … belly laughs of sheer delight … Hurst's facility with the language, whether Shakespearean or modern, is a joy to experience. The poetry flows effortlessly, and when he inhabits characters with absolute sincerity and truth, allowing the language to do its work supported by minimal technology, the audience is held spellbound … There are moments of such depth of emotion in Hurst's performance that the hair stands up on the back of my neck as my heart goes out to the extremely vulnerable human being he has created. No Holds Bard allows us to investigate 'What a piece of work is a man' in a truly Shakespearean way, and we are fortunate to see a master craftsman at work in that investigation."

    Performer: Michael Hurst
Director: Natalie Medlock
Associate Director: Dan Musgrove
Writers: Natalie Medlock, Dan Musgrove, Michael Hurst
Producers: Beth Allen and Charlie McDermott
Design: John Verryt
Lighting Design: Sean Lynch
Stunt Design: Glen Levy
Costume Design: Lesley Burkes-Harding
Costume Cutter/Maker: Marion Olsen
Belt Makers: Matt Morris and Robyn Forster
Costume Ageing: Matt Kleihhans

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