Perth’s Pop-Up Globe: 350 years in the making

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The first Globe was built in 1599 on the South Bank of the River Thames.  It stood for just fourteen years until, during a performance of Henry VIII on 28 June 1613, a cannon used in the play set fire to its thatched roof and burnt the playhouse to the ground.

Shakespeare and his company, the King’s Men, promptly rebuilt it on the same site.  The second Globe was open by June of the following year. This time, the roof was tiled not thatched – and the building had been transformed to a ‘stately theatre’ according to contemporary poet John Taylor, who wrote in 1622:

‘As Gold that’s in fire tried,
So is the Bankside Globe that late was burned,
For where before it had a thatched hide,
Now to a stately theatre is turned:
Which is an emblem, that great things are won
By those that dare through greatest dangers run’

Screen Shot 2019-08-31 at 11.07.17 PM.pngThe design of the second Globe theatre took advantage of everything Shakespeare and the King’s Men had learnt from the operation and design of the first Globe and 20 years of working together.  The second Globe, with its distinctive roof and ‘onion dome’, stood for three decades, until the closure of all public playhouses in 1642 during the English Civil War.  It was demolished in 1644 and cheap apartments built in its place.

The experience of Shakespeare’s work performed in the space of the second Globe was so remarkable that ever since the late nineteenth 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. Yet the second Globe theatre, the theatre Shakespeare and his company built and in which his work was being performed at the time he died, has never been accurately reconstructed, until now.

Pop-up Globe brings these dimensions to life in the first time in over 350 years.

Pop-up Globe, the world’s first full-scale temporary working replica of Shakespeare’s theatre, the second Globe, is finally coming to Perth.

Screen Shot 2019-08-31 at 11.05.19 PM.pngAfter performing to 550,000 people in just two and half years,

Pop-up Globe will pop up at Crown Perth from
5 October 2019

and present an epic festival of Shakespeare unlike anything Perth has ever seen.

“Shakespeare performed in the space it was written for is a completely unique experience,” says Pop-up Globe’s Founder and Artistic Director, Dr Miles Gregory. “This isn’t dusty old Shakespeare – it is bawdy, hilarious, brutal and blood-soaked. This is Shakespeare alive, like a party.”

Pop-up Globe’s Perth season is limited. It will pop up, be amazing, then pop down.

Screen Shot 2019-08-31 at 11.06.05 PM.pngPop-up Globe is the world’s first full-scale temporary working replica of the second Globe, the theatre that William Shakespeare and his company built and opened in 1614 after the first Globe theatre burned to the ground. Pop-up Globe is a three-story, 16-sided, 900- person capacity theatre. It 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.

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Four of history’s most famous plays will be presented in this festival of Shakespeare:

Screen Shot 2019-08-31 at 11.09.31 PMHamlet – Experience the most famous play in the world. Hamlet combines all the swashbuckling action of a revenge tragedy with profound and poetic questions about the nature of life and death. Featuring beautiful bespoke Jacobean costumes, brutal flights and lashings of blood, this production is not to be missed.

Screen Shot 2019-08-31 at 11.09.31 PMA Midsummer Night’s Dream – Justly regarded as Shakespeare’s comic masterpiece, A Midsummer Night’s Dream enchants audiences with a brilliant mix of hilarious comedy and beautiful poetry. This production fuses spectacular Jacobean costumes with Maori folklore to create a flagship production which was a smash hit in Sydney.

Screen Shot 2019-08-31 at 11.09.31 PMMeasure for Measure – Experience Moulin Rouge, Shakespeare-style with this critically acclaimed all-singing, all-dancing cast as they take a wild romp through the seedy streets of 17th century Vienna. In this city of brothels, louche lads-about-town and illegitimate children, the mayor and a young nun meet in private. She wants to save her brothers’ life. He is happy to help – but at what price?

Screen Shot 2019-08-31 at 11.09.31 PMTwelfth Night – With dancing sailors, identical twins, love-sick chemists and swordfights, this all-singing, all-dancing production takes the energy of Jean-Paul Gaultier and mixes it with a love-sick dose of pure madness to transform Shakespeare’s hilarious comedy into a wild romp that will have you dancing in the aisles.

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