If you haven’t yet seen one of the four wonderful Shakespeare productions by New Zealand based Pop Up Globe Theatre Company in Melbourne yet, then you’d better hurry up before you miss out!
Starting in late September, the Pop Up Globe in Melbourne’s beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens was originally slated to close in November, but fortunately the season has recently been extended until January 28. Currently on show is Much Ado About Nothing, Henry V, As You Like It and Othello.
Having seen two of these productions so far (Much Ado About Nothing and later Othello in rain, hail, thunder and lightning … it is Melbourne, after all!), I will definitely see the remaining two shows before it leaves town.
The Pop Up Globe is a three-storey tall structure, accurate to within six inches of the Second Globe. It is the world’s only portable reconstruction of the Globe Theatre. Shakespeare’s First Globe, built in 1599, burned down in the middle of a performance of Henry VIII when a cannon misfired, setting the wooden beams and thatched roof ablaze. The Second Globe was built a year later and was closed by the Puritans in 1642.
The atmosphere in the Pop Up Globe theatre is, of course, amazing, with its thrust stage, three-storey seated galleries, groundlings for those wishing to stand close to the performance, Hell Mouth (trap door in floor) and Heavens (opening above the stage). Not to mention the open roof which adds to the ambience in both day and night performances.
The quality of the Pop Up Globe performances is very strong, making these four Shakespearean dramas accessible and understandable to everyone from teenagers to grandparents. The ensemble is consistently skilled and polished, sharing the various roles in the four plays.
Here’s a few snaps I took of the Pop Up Globe in Melbourne.