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West End debut for young NZ director

Added: (Fri Dec 07 2001)

Pressbox (Press Release) - Media Release
November 2001

Young Aucklander in spotlight in
London’s West End

A twenty four year old Aucklander has been widely acclaimed by British theatre critics for his innovative Shakespearean productions. In January Miles Lattimer-Gregory makes his West End debut at the Westminster Theatre with his powerful and distinctive productions of “Hamlet” and “Twelfth Night.” The youngest specialist Shakespeare director in the UK, his success in the heartland of world class theatre has been swift.

Miles Lattimer-Gregory is the artistic director and founder of the British Touring Shakespeare Company. Since its inception in 1999 this troop, with its fresh, clever treatments has breathed new life into Shakespeare, delighting audiences and critics across the UK. The BTS Shakespearian productions, say theatre critics, are witty, brilliant, beautiful, hilarious, haunting. “ A new Shakespearean force to be reckoned with”, says Theatre Review.

The young New Zealander shone in the classroom and on the stage as a schoolboy at Kings College, Auckland. Miles attended the University of Durham and graduated BA (Hons). At Exeter University he completed his Master of Arts in Staging Shakespeare.

Miles formed British Touring Shakespeare together with top class actors and took to the road, disseminating Shakespeare with a compelling fresh approach. Period costumes came from the Royal Shakespeare Company, the BBC and the Royal National Theatre Company.
In the summer of 2000, BTS performed “Much Ado About Nothing” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to enchanted audiences in historic homes across Britain. This summer BTS toured across the UK and Europe, performing to full houses and receiving consistently good reviews.

Shakespeare under the direction of Miles Lattimer-Gregory often includes audience participation. He breaks down what he describes as the “fourth wall” between actors and audience to engage the latter in the production.

With his forthcoming production of Hamlet in the West End he explains his approach as director: “Academics, critics and audience alike proclaim Hamlet as one of the greatest psychological thrillers ever written, an event that makes the most cruel and voyeuristic episode of Big Brother seem like a bland carbon copy of life.”

“I believe our production pares Hamlet down to an accessible yet grotesque portrait of the post-modern dysfunctional family, where trust is taken not earned, and lust is cynically substituted for love. This production illuminates the text from within by taking an artistic spotlight and shining it into every nook and cranny of the play. It is both accessible and fresh, cut down to two hours, and given a twenty first century makeover using Elizabethan stage practice juxtaposed with contemporary multimedia and staging techniques,” says Lattimer-Gregory.

British Touring Shakespeare is currently touring in Dubai at the invitation of an international promotion company that takes big names - Kiri Te Kanawa, Sting, The Spice Girls, Tom Jones - to the Middle East.

For more information visit the BTS website:

Or in New Zealand contact Sally Elton
ph. 09 4454585 / 0274 980 568
Email sallyelton@xtra.co.nz

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