Pop-up Globe Pops Up Out of Nowhere
Amongst 110-tonnes and 60kms of scaffolding, Melbourne’s newest performance venue – the Pop-up Globe – has literally popped up out of nowhere in the Shakespeare Gardens next to Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl.
Melbourne’s newest and most-exciting theatre is the world’s first full-scale temporary working replica of the iconic Globe which has come straight to the Sidney Myer Music Bowl from acclaimed seasons in New Zealand. While the Lord Mayor, who opened the media call, might have been quipping on the city’s love of the pop-up concept, this new venue is a whole new class of pop-up. So far it has taken only three weeks to assemble this intricate network of scaffolding that will end up being mere millimetres from the original dimensions of the Globe, and upon completion will become a three-story, 16-sided, 900-person capacity theatre ready for performances to start on September 21. This gives a whole new meaning to the term pop-up!
Traditional theatre lovers from all around Australia have jumped at the opportunity to see Shakespeare performed in this historical setting with over 20,000 tickets already sold to the four masterpieces – Othello, Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It and Henry V.
“This is a remarkable endeavor, and as an ex-English teacher I would always love to teach Shakespeare. People would always say to me, ‘Shakespeare is unapproachable for modern students’ and I’d say ‘Well if you leave it as dusty words on a page, it may be. But when you see it performed, you are transported because these stories are timeless’” said the Lord Mayor.
The performances of these Shakespeare classics will be quite unlike anything Australian audiences have ever seen before as they take shape in the venue for which Shakespeare wrote them. And, if the New Zealand audiences are anything to go by, they also embrace their traditional role which is to engage with the show taking place in front of them in the loudest and raucous manner of the Elizabethans.
“The actors are trained specifically to work in this space. They are trained to work with the audience. To address the audience. This isn’t Shakespeare far away on a distant stage, this is Shakespeare alive with actors looking you in the lie, with blood splattering you in the eye, with cannons firing, with immense fight scenes. It’s like nothing else on Earth. And the noise during performances can be heard hundreds of metres away. It’s not like any experience you’ve had before. I promise you that!” says Pop-up Globe founder and artistic director Dr Miles Gregory.
The Pop-up Globe will revel in the spectacular theatrical trickery of the Jacobean era, with the shows involving cannons, flaming arrows, hundreds of litres of fake blood (not for use in the comedies!), hand-forged armoury and over 450 beautiful bespoke period costumes. This truly transportative experience will bring the classic Shakespearean experience right into the cultural heart of Melbourne.
Tickets are selling fast for this limited season which runs from September 21 to November 12. For more information on the productions and to purchase your tickets, visit www.popupglobe.com.au