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King Lear


Tue 14 Jun 2016, 6:30pm
Wed 15 Jun 2016, 6:30pm
Thu 16 Jun 2016, 8:00pm
Fri 17 Jun 2016, 8:00pm
Sat 18 Jun 2016, 8:00pm

Where: Circa Theatre, 1 Taranaki St, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Full: $46.00
  • Friends (Until 29 May): $33.00
  • Senior and Students: $38.00
  • Groups 6+: $39.00
  • Groups 20+: $36.00
  • Under 25s: $25.00
  • Additional fees may apply


Listed by: Circa Theatre

William Shakespeare

Directed by Michael Hurst
Starring Ray Henwood as King Lear
14 May - 18 June
Circa 1

Proudly sponsored by Christopher Finlayson and Cariad Productions.

All or Nothing

Circa Theatre celebrates its 40th anniversary with a brand new production of Shakespeare’s stunning tragedy King Lear. Acclaimed Shakespearean director Michael Hurst takes the helm while the title role is played by one of New Zealand’s theatre legends, Ray Henwood.

King Lear cuts to the heart of the human condition, traversing the raw landscape of passion, sorrow, cruelty, love and redemption. An ageing king, mistaking false praise for love, makes a terrible decision that destroys his family and plunges his kingdom into chaos.

Four hundred years after Shakespeare’s death, Hurst, renowned for his compelling interpretations, throws a unique lens over the story, describing it as “a lean and muscular play that demands the utmost of its actors.”

There will be no hiding, no tricks, just high-octane acting in a timeless landscape of despair. Howl! Howl! Howl!

With a stellar cast that brings together Ray Henwood (King Lear), Ken Blackburn (Gloucester), Carmel McGlone (Goneril), Claire Waldron (Regan), Neenah Dekkers-Reihana (Cordelia), Gavin Rutherford (Lear’s Fool), Stephen Papps (Kent), Andrew Paterson (Edgar), Guy Langford (Edmund), Todd Rippon (Albany), Peter Hambleton (Cornwall) and Shane Bosher (Oswald), this remarkable production is a must see!

Director Michael Hurst, on seeing King Lear for the first time at the age of thirteen: “It absolutely nailed me to the wall. I couldn't believe it. I was emotionally wrung by something that I didn't fully understand, but the perception it gave me of the enormity of the well of human feeling and emotion--even though I couldn't have put it in those terms when I was 13-- that is what stayed with me. I believe that's what great art does and I believe that great art comes in all forms."

That was the beginning of a lifelong passion for performing and directing the works of Shakespeare. “I am interested in the performance, the acting. The heart of Lear is the language, and the heart of that language is the way it sounds, words assembled such that they disclose deep human truths and emotions. This is the actors’ job in Shakespeare. To speak the language with truth, connection and commitment. I am excited to be working at Circa on this special production in this special year.”

King Lear is a magnificent production befitting a remarkable milestone — Circa’s 40 years enriching New Zealand’s top theatre scene.

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