Pop-up Globe Announces Most Controversial Season Yet

Published: Tue 17 Jul 2018 09:27 AM
Pop-up Globe Announces Most Controversial Season Yet
After performing to an astonishing 450,000 people in just two years, Pop-up Globe -- the world’s first full-scale temporary working replica of one of the greatest theatres in history, the second Globe -- announces it’s back this summer with its most controversial season yet.
Located in the beautiful gardens at Ellerslie Racecourse, Pop-up Globe will throw open its doors on 16 November to present four of Shakespeare’s masterworks tied together with the common thread of the “abuse of power”. As always, there’ll be a twist!
Headlining this showstopper season is the most famous play in history, Hamlet, alongside controversial “battle of the sexes” comedies The Taming of the Shrew and Measure for Measure. The bloody and darkly comic tragedy Richard III completes the quartet.
Pop-up Globe founder and artistic director Dr Miles Gregory said the new season shines a light on the way that Shakespeare explores the abuse of power in his plays - resonating with stories that are occupying society today.
“In the age of Weinstein, #metoo and #timesup, it feels entirely right for us to reflect current conversations in the world through ambitious and thought-provoking programming. As is so often the case, Shakespeare seems to have got there first.”
Shockingly The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare’s most proto-feminist play that also features his most misogynistic character, sees the fiercely independent Kate forced to become her husband’s “perfect woman” through starvation and even torture.
“When it comes to the gender debate we’ve never been shy, and neither was Shakespeare. We believe it’s important to take our place in the conversation when we’re talking to as many people as we do every year. Our audiences will not be disappointed with the treatment we’ve given to these global issues.”
Dr Gregory says he is also delighted to be opening the new season earlier than previous years, giving fans a chance to see one of their favourite plays before Christmas and before the school term finishes.
The productions will again feature the best actors, the best costuming and the best stage effects – the very reasons that over 450,000 people have seen a play at Pop-up Globe over the past two years. With every costume designed and made from scratch by Pop-up Globe’s expert team, and an obsessive attention to detail, audiences know that the work on stage represents thousands of hours of loving labour.
“Many Pop-up Globe shows are more like a riot - with 14 actors performing full battle sequences in bespoke armour wielding swords and covering our groundlings in blood. We can promise this season will bring nothing less with more battles, more blood and more beauty than ever before.”
The company has also revealed changes to their theatre and gardens to improve the audience experience, including more spacious seating and new garden bar spaces.
“We’re proud to be a fixture of the New Zealand summer, and we know that our audiences enjoy both our beautiful garden setting at Ellerslie Racecourse just as much as they enjoy being splattered with blood from our unique stage.”
“The shows that delighted fans in Auckland last summer are about to open in Sydney. We hope these new shows will also transfer internationally and encourage Aucklanders to see them at home while they can.”
Pop-up Globe is almost unique in the world for a theatre of its popularity, attracting some 100,000 annual visitors to its Auckland theatre but receiving no state funding to support its operations. The company employs a team of 12 at its Auckland HQ year-round, but in season that number swells to over 120 full-time staff across operations in New Zealand and Australia.
There’s always a twist at Pop-up Globe! This is no dusty Shakespeare. It’s alive. Like a party.

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