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Oliver Driver to Direct Michael Hurst and Morgana O'Reilly in the Award-Winning AMADEUS

Auckland Theatre Company's third show in the brand-new ASB Waterfront Theatre is Sir Peter Shaffer's awarding winning, psychological-thriller, Amadeus, presented by ASB.

Theatrical masters Oliver Driver and Leon Radojkovich will work together once again, after their 2014 runaway success, Jesus Christ: Superstar, to transform a modern classic into an extraordinary and unmissable experience.

In Vienna, music is the currency of power and Court Composer Antonio Salieri is the toast of the town. That is, until the arrival of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Confronted with true genius, Salieri is consumed with obsessive jealousy, declaring war on God for choosing to speak through this up start and not him. His mediocrity becomes murderous as he sets out to destroy his potty-mouthed young rival and extinguish the spark of his divine talent.

Premiering at the National Theatre in 1979, the production received seven Tony Awards, including Best Play, in 1981. It was made into an Academy Award-winning film and has become one of the most famous and acclaimed plays of the twentieth century.

With sweeping operatic theatricality, Amadeus juxtaposes the petty world of human excess and envy with the transcendent achievements of human artistry and passion.

The intense physical demands of the role of Mozart will be masterfully met by dancer and choreographer Ross McCormack (Triumphs and Other Alternatives, Matter, AGE).

Artistic Director Colin McColl said, "It's particularly exciting to have leading NZ dancer and choreographer Ross McCormack playing Mozart. His audition was a delightful surprise. He danced his way through the role - capturing the spirit of Mozart and his music so succinctly. Pitching his mercurial qualities with Michael Hurst's rock solid stagecraft will make for electric theatre."

ASB head of community, sponsorship and events Mark Graham says ASB is delighted to support Auckland Theatre Company's bold new work.

"The ASB Season of Amadeus will be a fantastic display of first-class talent on the new ASB Waterfront Theatre stage. Amadeus will test the boundaries of the theatre, and we're excited to see the actors and stage crew deliver the internationally-acclaimed play with a local twist," Mr Graham says.

Michael Hurst (The Trees Beneath the Lake, No Holds Bard, Hercules) is returning to the stage to play Salieri - the Italian contemporary of Mozart. He is driven to the edge with jealousy, unable to reconcile Mozart's genius with his barbaric nature.

Also in the star-studded cast are Morgana O'Reilly (Venus in Fur, Housebound, Home & Away), Byron Coll (The Mikado, Little Shop of Horrors, Ladykillers), Laughton Kora (Jesus Christ Superstar, Live, Live Cinema) and Kura Forrester (Perplex, The Opening Night Before Christmas).

Opera singer Madison Nonoa, third place-getter in the 2016 Lexus Song Quest, and who will be performing with Rufus Wainwright in Prima Donna at the upcoming Auckland Arts Festival, will perform throughout the show accompanied by an eleven-piece orchestra.

Musical director Leon Radojkovic (Jesus Christ Superstar, Live, Live Cinema, Boys Will Be Boys) will transform the classical masterpieces, giving Mozart's genius a contemporary transformation.

Beloved New Zealand fashion designer Adrian Hailwood will be designing the costumes which promise to be modern and sleek, with a dash of the 18th century. Amadeus will be Adrian's first foray into designing for theatre, although he is no stranger to the fashion world. Adrian burst onto the fashion scene with the opening of the Ponsonby Hailwood store in 2001, and has been a NZFW regular since making his solo debut in 2003.

Also joining the creative team is performer, producer and designer Ella Mizrahi. Ella's recent work has been with her company Celery Productions, producing among other things the then-popular Art in the Dark, which saw over 50,000 audience members attend in 2013.

Amadeus will be one of the theatrical events of the year, with some of New Zealand's most daring practitioners pushing the theatrical boundaries of the superb ASB Waterfront Theatre.

The ASB Season of Amadeus runs 2 - 17 May at the ASB Waterfront Theatre in Wynyard Quarter.

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