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The Changeling


Auckland Summer Shakespeare presents

Written by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley

Adapted and directed by Michael Hurst


Enter a claustrophobic world in which sexual betrayal combines with insanity and the horrific cost of payback, when Michael Hurst is let loose on one of the most intense tragedies ever written -THE CHANGELING. Thomas Middleton and William Rowley’s wild masterpiece kicks off its strictly limited seasons Auckland-wide at Auckland University’s Drama Studio, Pumphouse Theatre, Uxbridge Theatre and Vault @ Q from June 29.


Sometimes the one you love isn’t the one you want. Beatrice hires a hitman to murder her fiancé, only to become trapped in a vortex of lust and deceit. Once the deed is done, Beatrice discovers it’s not money or jewels that her hitman wants as his reward, but something far more precious.


We live in an experiential age, where audiences are hungry for experiences that provide a deeper level of participation and entertainment.  In line with this trend, Hurst wants to create a theatrical encounter that explores proximity, intimacy and high-octane acting at close quarters - an experience that can’t be downloaded.


Like Netflix and other entertainment platforms today, the writers of the Jacobean age delivered an extremely popular menu of psychological thrillers that reflected the moral turpitude and obsessive desires lying just below the surface of humanity. This fascination with the dark side remains as potent today as it ever was.


Few plays match THE CHANGELING for sheer audacity. Filled with strikingly modern psychological insights, the play features one of the theatre’s most complex and intriguing partnerships. Beatrice and her disfigured hitman, the ironically named De Flores, transgress all moral limits. The pact they enter into, driven both by physical loathing and erotic frustration, unites them in a corrupt, collusive and adulterous intimacy. Blurring the boundaries between right and wrong, actors Anthea Freya Hill (PopUp Globe, Guys & Dolls) and Mel Odedra (Tea, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) will collude in this production, reminding audiences of the thin line between victim and monster.


In response to the success of the Pop Up Globe, which has drawn audiences away from the Auckland Summer Shakespeare’s annual activation, challenging its history of 55 years and recently forcing it into recess, Hurst and the Auckland Summer Shakespeare Trust have repositioned themselves to create this ferociously intimate Winter season.


Widely acknowledged as one of New Zealand’s leading exponents of Shakespeare, Hurst is also a Jacobean Tragedy fanatic, having directed or acted in productions of Tis Pity She’s a Whore, The Duchess of Malfi, The Revenger’s Tragedy and one other previous production of The Changeling in 1990.  


Operating with an immediacy that feels almost indecently alive, the cast is completed by some of Auckland’s finest young talent including Caleb Wells (Westside’s Sparkie, Lord of the Flies), Edwin Beats (Jono & Ben, Ranterstantrum), Jonathan James (Mamma Mia, Pork Pie), Travis Graham (Earthquakes in London, The Tempest) and exciting newcomers Ruby Payne and Shona Harris.


Unafraid to go for broke, Hurst and his fearless cast will celebrate the play’s atmosphere of mad excess.


Play dumb. Play dirty. Play false.






29 June - 3 August, 2018


University of Auckland Studio Theatre:  29 June – 7 July, 7:30pm & 10pm

Pumphouse Theatre Takapuna:   9 July – 13 July, 7:30pm

Vault, Q Theatre: 18 July – 28 July, 7:30pm & 10pm

Uxbridge Theatre Howick: 2 August – 3 August, 7:30pm



Tickets: $29.99 Adult, $25 Concession, $19.99 Student *service fees apply

Duration: 80 minutes

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Later Event: June 30
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