Today a friend a I are going to Auckland to see Shakespeare. A replica of the second Globe Theatre, which was built on the ruins of the first Globe in 1614. Pop-Up Globe replicates exactly the dimensions of Shakespeare’s second Globe Theatre.
“This round three-storey building is designed to create a remarkable theatre experience. Wherever in the theatre you sit or stand, you’ll be within 15m of the action on stage and surrounded on all sides by people sharing the same space and experience.
An audience of up to 900 will completely surround the stage. In fact, some of the best seats in the house are located in the Lords’ and Gentlemen’s rooms on the two levels directly behind the stage.
The stage is very large – over 100sqm – and takes up almost half the base of the yard. This expansive space allows the Pop-up Globe Theatre Company an unusually large performance area on which to bring Shakespeare’s work to life, just as Shakespeare’s own cast enjoyed 400 years ago.
Pop-Up Globe is capped with an onion dome, a unique signature design element which will be remarkable feature of the Auckland cityscape, just as it would have been for the Globe on its site by the Thames.
With a steel frame ‘skinned’ in plywood, Pop-Up Globe fuses cutting-edge scaffold technology with 400-year-old design.” So says Auckland Mayor, Len Brown.
We are going to see Romeo and Juliet tomorrow night (Friday) and though I have to return to Wellington on Saturday, my friend will see Twelfth Night on Saturday.
This is a once in a lifetime experience. Pop-Up Globe artistic director Dr Miles Gregory says Shakespeare’s Globe is one of the most important theatres in history.
“The experience was so remarkable that ever since the late 19th century, actors and academics – and sometimes a mixture of the two – have sought to recreate as much as is possible the ‘original’ staging conditions of Shakespeare’s own theatres,” says Dr Gregory, formerly a Regional Producer for Shakespeare’s Globe London
“Yet Shakespeare’s second Globe Theatre, the theatre he built and in which his work was being performed at the time he died, has never been accurately reconstructed.
“Our aim is to recreate as faithfully as possible this original performance space so Pop-up Globe’s audience can enjoy the remarkable experience of Shakespeare’s own audience 400 years ago.”
After tomorrow night I’ll be able to confirm that they have succeeded in their aim.
For more information about the Globe and the productions click here.