STRAIGHT OUTTA LOCKDOWN: HURST IS BACK IN THE HERALD

Taking on the challenge of the first large-scale regional tour out of lockdown, Michael Hurst returns to the big smoke to bring his one man show The Daylight Atheist for a seven run at the Herald Theatre, from August 28 - September 5.

Ageing Irish raconteur Danny Moffat retreats from the harsh light of the world to his bedroom. There, under hoardings of old newspapers and beer bottles, he sorts through a lifetime of memories and regrets, from growing up as a boy in Ireland, to the hopes and disappointments of immigration to New Zealand.

Audiences around the country have flocked to theatres and any other location Hurst could get his hands on - from pubs to opera houses - to celebrate the ability to gather safely and share in the magic of theatre. Taking the risk to tour so soon after Covid-19 rattled our way of life, Hurst has been blown away by the response to the show and delighted to be performing to full houses up and down the country. Selling out in centres including Lake Hāwea, Arrowtown, Roxburgh, Fairlie, and Geraldine, the tour is currently making its way up the North Island, where it will finish its journey around Aotearoa with the Auckland season.

“Where else in the world is this happening at the moment? What other actor in the world is able to tour their country?” said Hurst. “We are in a very unique position, and, in a way, it feels if we've all decided to gather around the campfire again and listen to the stories.”

First introduced to the show in early 2019 when he performed it for the Auckland Theatre Company under director Colin McColl, Michael Hurst saw the potential to take a reimagined version on the road. Securing the rights to tour the show, The Daylight Atheist is loosely based on the life of writer Tom Scott's father to create a rousing portrayal of the charismatic yet deeply flawed man. The play probes at the broken heart of a family with pathos, humour and significant charm, with Hurst drawing the audience into the truth of a profoundly tragic figure who rejects any need for tenderness or human intimacy, and stares down the barrel of utter loneliness.

Speaking to a moment where isolation is a familiar feeling, The Daylight Atheist is a truly timely theatrical offering in a country lucky and grateful to have the opportunity to reconnect over stories in this way.