I’ve not yet been to the Globe Theatre London, but that’s okay…having seen Shakespeare’s Globe in London isn’t a prerequisite for enjoying the Pop Up Globe near Auckland’s Town Hall. In fact there’s little in the way of pre-viewing homework, hell you don’t even need to know the famous stories.
Finish reading this, but then make haste and book your tickets for the Pop Up Globe in Auckland, because as the name suggests… it’ll disappear just as quickly as it popped up. Yes folks, this is definitely only temporary as I imagine someone will want use of the car-park it’s currently inhabiting at some stage.
In my mind the mark of a truly brilliant Shakespearian performance is whether it can engage an audience that don’t quite speak the language and aren’t familiar with the often told and well-known story lines, and this performance of Romeo and Juliet does just that. It turned the giggling school girls behind us into fans of Romeo, captivated by the story and hanging onto every scene with great intrigue… even after previously agreeing amongst themselves that they’d thought “Romeo would’ve been better looking.” I guess perhaps they were expecting Leonard DiCaprio.
The performance of Romeo and Juliet by The Pop-up Globe Theatre Company is truly magnanimous and enthralling, and the audience quickly fell for the original love struck teenage fool… Romeo. A few harsh critics have dribbled on about the delivery and lack of gusto from Jonathan Tynan-Moss but I disagree… I found his portrayal of Romeo included an awkwardness, which reminds us of the characters youthfulness.
Four hundred years dead is a strange anniversary to mark, but 2016 does just that and marks the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare with a pop-up, full scale, temporary, working replica of the second Globe Theatre filling it with a season of some of Bill Shakespeare’s best known works.
The Pop Up Globe is a thrilling theatre experience for Aucklanders; this incredible full scale replica constructed out of plywood and scaffolding, with minimal dressings and sawdust still on the floor allows it’s audience to experience Romeo and Juliet in a space was designed for its performance – no set, no lights and no holds barred on the gore. The audience feels close and integral to the play and those in the “cheap seats” or Groundlings are nail bitingly close to the action, which care of Fight Director Alexander James Holloway includes generous servings of fake blood.
Be warned though, while this is a brilliantly enthralling performance of Romeo and Juliet it isn’t your typical slightly dark Shakespearian “tragedy”. UK Director Ben Naylor has turned the tables and created outbursts of laughter with his fresh take, on once over done and threadbare scenes. This is a rich performance, bursting with characters, energy and hilarity. It draws you, leaving you attached to the characters and giggling at the same time.
While the Pop Up Globe in Auckland is a fantastic environment that transports you to a time where plays and performances were regular forms of entertainment Romeo and Juliet is long at over 2.5 hours, and the seats can be a little uncomfortable. Bringing a cushion isn’t a silly idea, and neither is wearing flat comfy shoes if you happen to be standing. Also in keeping with authenticity there is no air con or likewise heating… so dress for sitting/standing in a crowded open-air theatre.
Grab your tickets here,
Have you been to the Pop Up Globe? I’d love to know what you saw and if you loved it…