27 Apr 2014

Maori actor in Hamlet

6:03 pm on 27 April 2014

A Maori actor is about to embark on a world tour to commemorate the 450th birthday of Shakespeare.

The bard was born in in 1564 and the Globe Theatre is putting on a special performance of Hamlet to mark the occasion.

It began performances in London and is about to start a tour of virtually every country in the world.

Rawiri Paratene alternates between the roles of Claudius and Polonius and was telephoned at home in the Hokianga by the British director of the show and asked to take part.

He says he took about two seconds to say yes.

"Shakespeare is a magnificent student of humanity, he explores it in all kinds of fashions, he explores its bawdiness, its baseness, its absolute beauty, its sheer ugliness and he does it like no other."