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The Cast of Lear- Part 1

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With King Lear Opening on 14 May we thought it would be a great idea for you to meet the cast. We sat the actors down and asked them for and comment and character quote. Enjoy.


Ray Henwood - King Lear

Ray Henwood – King Lear



RAY HENWOOD as King Lear 

‘It is a great thrill to play Lear with such a fine director and a first rate cast. Michael has wonderful ideas about the play and makes the monumental task a most rewarding journey.

The best quote I think that exists for a Wellington audience must be-

“Get thee glass eyes

And like a scurvy politician seem to see things thou dost not.”’




Ken Blackburn – Gloucester


KEN BLACKBURN as Gloucester

I enjoy many memories associated with this play having appeared as Edgar 55 years ago for Nola Millar and playing Gloucester at Mercury Theatre 30 years ago.I had the pleasure of working with Sam Wanamaker in the late 50s and spent some time in the presence of his “Dream Realisation” being the London Globe when I escorted the Sheila Wynn students in 2005.Ray and I have worked together in Radio,Theatre,Film and Television many times over the last 50 years and I count it a privilege to be appearing alongside him and under the direction of  Michael one of the finest directors this country has produced. In this performance you will need to keep an eye out for me!!

I have no way, and therefore want no eyes….I stumbled when I saw!”




Carmel McGlone - Goneril

Carmel McGlone – Goneril


Judi Dench played Regan for the RSC in 1976 with Trevor Nunn directing. She hated it and said she wouldn’t do it again.  She disliked the cruelty and felt there was no chance to make a case for Regan. I’m playing the other nasty sister, Goneril. Nowhere are these sisters thought well of. I am, of course, keen to understand what circumstances produce such awful women, born, as they are, into an ugly, frightening patriarchy. Can these two be understood?

I am currently performing at the POPUPGLOBE in Auckland. It is an extraordinary experience to perform Shakespeare in the space for which he wrote. To follow this with King Lear (which many scholars and practitioners regard as the pinnacle of European writing),  directed by Michael Hurst in an edgy, tightly conceived and choreographed production is simply marvellous. My little cup runneth over.

I have had a longstanding relationship with SGCNZ. I’ve been a Nationals Judge, a selector, a workshop leader and in 2011 an IAF – International Actors Fellow. Educationally, SGCNZ is an organisation of incalculable value to NZ and I am proud to be a part of it.

 ‘Sir, I love you more than word can wield the matter’      My most dreaded line is….’Pluck out his eyes’



Claire Waldron - Regan

Claire Waldron – Regan


“Sir, I am made

Of the selfsame metal that my sister is,

And prize me at her worth. In my true heart

I find she names my very deed of love;

Only she comes too short…”

Jesters do oft prove prophets”

‘It is interesting there is no presence of a Mother in the play, which may denote a lack of love and nurture – love is expressed materially. It’s a patriarchal world. Women have little power except when aligned with a male; this forces them to manipulate situations in order to gain some sort of power. They are a product of their upbringing… the world gone mad, they act accordingly.’



Neenah Dekkers-Reihana - Cordelia

Neenah Dekkers-Reihana – Cordelia



Cordelia is an amazing role to play, especially alongside such a marvelous cast. I’ve always wanted to play Cordelia and I’m really excited that I get to do it with Michael Hurst as the director. Cordelia is strong willed, honest and maybe a little stubborn… I love that she stands up to King Lear, in front of so many people, and she doesn’t back down. I think Cordelia has a heart of gold and she wants what’s best for herself and her father, the King. I’m excited about the direction this show is going and I can’t wait to share it with an audience!

Lear: So young, and so untender?

Cordelia: So young, my lord, and true.





Gavin Rutherford - Lear's Fool

Gavin Rutherford – Lear’s Fool




Lear’s Fool is surrounded by mystery, spirituality and the occult. Michael’s knowledge and direction have been invaluable in coming up with a character that can navigate the high wit, strangeness and absurdity that swirl in the Fool scenes. I hope we have found a way that will communicate the Fool’s loves and fears as he watches his lord and master spiral out of control and out of his mind. I am embracing the madness.

“He’s mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a horse’s health, a boys love or a whore’s oath.”




Stay tuned for Part 2, coming next week!


King Lear 14 May – 18 June
Circa One
Phone: 04 801 7992 to book


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