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Oliver Driver directs Michael Hurst in ATC's RED by John Logan

10 May 2011

This content is tagged as Theatre .

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Michael Hurst stars in turbo-charged bio-drama about famed artist Mark Rothko

Oliver Driver directs Michael Hurst in Auckland Theatre Company's new production of John Logan's Tony Award winning play, RED, opening at the Maidment Theatre on June 2.

"Logan's intense and exciting two-character bio-drama [is] a master class of questions and answers ... What we see, above all, is an artist 'seeing', and it's impossible not to feel thrilled by the privilege," New York Times.

At the height of his fame, Mark Rothko has just landed the biggest commission in the history of modern art, a series of murals for New York's famed Four Seasons Restaurant. As this brilliant master wrestles with the overwhelming task, he begins to question his views on art, creativity and commerce.

And when his young apprentice, Ken, gains the confidence to challenge him, Rothko faces the agonizing possibility that his crowning achievement could also become his undoing.

Raw and provocative, Red is a searing portrait of an artist's ambition and vulnerability as he tries to create a definitive work.

"Logan sends American abstract impressionist painter Mark Rothko into battle with his demons in this electrifying play of ideas, and the artist's howls are pure music, " Variety.

"Most plays about painters avoid the actual painting," says Auckland Theatre Company artistic director, Colin McColl, "but the great thing about RED is that we get to experience the art, the craft, the sheer hard slog; the whole messy, physical process, from stretching and sizing the canvases, mixing and applying the paint and we get the exhilaration of the act, too.

"RED is a philosophical, visceral, tough, emotional voyage into the very heart and soul of an artist," McColl.

RED, was first produced by the Donmar Warehouse, London in December 2009, and on Broadway, where it received six Tony Awards in mid-June, 2010, the most of any play, including best play.

Logan was a successful playwright in Chicago for many years before turning to screenwriting. He gained an Academy Award nomination for co-writing GLADIATOR (which won Best Picture) in 2000. He gained a second nomination for writing THE AVIATOR. Other notable films written by Logan include STAR TREK: NEMESIS, THE TIME MACHINE and THE LAST SAMURAI. In 2007 he won a Golden Globe Award for the screenplay of the Tim Burton-directed film adaptation of SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET.

Logan's most recent feature films include RANGO, an animated feature starring Johnny Depp and directed by Gore Verbinski, the film adaptation of Shakespeare's "CORIOLANUS" directed by and starring Ralph Fiennes, and the film adaptation of THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET directed by Martin Scorsese.

"A portrait of an angry and brilliant mind that asks you to feel the shape and texture of thoughts ... as much as any stage work I can think of, Red captures the dynamic relationship between an artist and his creations," The New York Times

Tickets and Production Information

RED by John Logan

Maidment Theatre

June 2 - 25

Tickets for RED can be purchased from the Maidment Theatre, 308 2383 or www.atc.co.nz.