Minister for Tourism and Major Events the Hon John Eren joined the creators of Pop-up Globe, together with representatives of Visit Victoria, Live Nation, Arts Centre Melbourne and NAB to announce today that the world’s first full-scale temporary working replica of the second Globe, the theatre Shakespeare and his company built and opened in 1614 after the first Globe theatre burned to the ground, is coming to Melbourne.
From 21 September 2017, Pop-up Globe will become the home of the most spectacular season of Shakespeare that Melbourne has ever seen. Founder and Artistic Director, Dr Miles Gregory, says he believes Shakespeare’s work performed in the space it is written for is a completely unique and transformative experience.
“Our audiences are blown away by the immersive experience of seeing Shakespeare performed in the space for which it was written,” says Dr Gregory. “The relationship between actor and audience, the spectacular space itself, together with the power of Shakespeare’s incredible work, means attending plays at Pop-up Globe is totally different from anything you’ve seen before,” says Gregory. This isn’t dusty Shakespeare. This is now. Alive. Like a party.”
The first Globe stood for 14 years until a disastrous fire demolished it in 1613. The second Globe was rebuilt on the same foundations by Shakespeare and his company significantly modifying the original first Globe to create what became one of the most famous theatres in history.
Pop-up Globe uses as its historical reference point ground-breaking research by Associate Professor Tim Fitzpatrick and Russell Emerson of the University of Sydney to create the world’s first full-scale temporary working replica of Shakespeare’s theatre, the second Globe.
A three-storey, 16-sided, 900-person capacity theatre, Pop-up Globe unites cutting-edge scaffold technology with a 400-year-old design to transport audiences back in time. No matter where they sit or stand in the theatre, audience members are never more than 15 metres from the heart of the action on stage. Sometimes they’ll even find themselves in the play.
The audacious project was originally planned as a one-off in Auckland to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 2016. Created entirely from scratch by an international company and cast in less than 18 months, Pop-up Globe took the city by storm welcoming more than 100,000 attendances in a season extended twice by popular demand.
Following hot on the heels of this initial sell-out success, a critically-acclaimed second season in 2017 attracted another 100,000 attendances. The phenomenon resulted in international interest from leading promoters and representatives from cities around the world who travelled to New Zealand to witness it for themselves.
Live Nation, the world’s leading live entertainment company, jumped at the chance to work with Pop-up Globe to secure this unique theatre experience for Australian audiences. “Live Nation has a great history of presenting only the very best live performances and we are thrilled to be able to bring this extraordinary production to Australian audiences,” says Michael Coppel, Chairman Live Nation Australasia. “Pop-up Globe is the most exciting theatre project we’ve seen in a long time and even more exciting that it’s coming out of our part of the world.”
The Pop-up Globe theatre will be constructed in the newly-christened Shakespeare Gardens adjacent the Sidney Myer Music Bowl over a period of six weeks, and will feature all the spectacular theatrical trickery of the Jacobean era, including cannons, flaming arrows, hundreds of litres of fake blood, hand-forged armoury and more than 450 beautiful bespoke period costumes pieces specially constructed by the Pop-up Globe in-house wardrobe department. Capped with an onion dome, the venue will be a remarkable feature of the Melbourne cityscape, just as the second Globe was in London.
For its Melbourne season, Pop-up Globe brings with it a travelling festival of four critically-acclaimed productions – the riotous comedy As You Like It, the uproarious rom-com Much Ado About Nothing, psychological thriller Othello and the bloody war epic Henry V.
Additionally, Melbourne audiences will be the first to see a specially-commissioned new show, Around the Globe in 60 Minutes!, which will thrust audiences into the maelstrom of history, allowing them to experience the triumphs and disasters that tell the incredible story of the second Globe Theatre.
The Pop-up Globe season runs 21 September – 12 November 2017. For more information, visit: www.popupglobe.com.au for details.
Image: A performance of Much Ado About Nothing in the Pop-up Globe (supplied)