Our daughter gave us tickets to the pop up Globe Theatre as a Christmas present. I’d never been since it had “popped up” in Auckland five years ago. My daughter and her family have attended regularly and urged me to give it a try. Shakespearean plays never excited me so I had my doubts. Particularly as the play we were to see was Romeo and Juliet. I understand my likely enjoyment – or not – was the subject of a bet between my daughter and son in law.
I had little appreciation of what the theatre would look like. I knew it was a temporary structure and similar to how a theatre might have looked long ago. But I had not appreciated how detailed and exact this Globe Theatre was.
From Pop up Globe Publicity
“Pop-up Globe replicates the dimensions of this long-lost theatre exactly, for the first time since the second Globe was demolished in 1644. This is more than a theatre: it’s a living time-machine that opens up the mysteries of a long-lost world.” “Pop-up Globe is a three-storey, 16-sided, 700-person capacity theatre.” “Pop-up Globe is more than just a remarkable feat of engineering and design. It’s the world’s first full-scale, temporary, working replica of the second Globe.”
After grabbing a pizza for our dinner we headed in to find our seats. I’d once suggested to my daughter I wouldn’t want to stand watching Shakespeare for three hours, as they usually did. It took only moments to feel the ambiance. We sat on one side of the stage in padded and backed seats. Some seats are hard plastic, while others are stools without backs. We sat in comfort. In front of the stage is the mush pit, with room for possibly 120-150 standing. Others in our group stood, to interact with the actors as the play progressed.
As suggested in their programme, the intention of the players is to incorporate the works of Shakespeare along with a smattering of humour and spectacular fight sequences, with blood spattering the crowd. I enjoyed many laughs during Romeo and Juliet’s tragedy. I wonder how funny this company would make one of Shakespeare’s comedies. That would be worth seeing.
I’m sorry it has taken me five years to attend a show at the pop up Globe theatre. This summer season signals the end of an era of added cultural experience available to Aucklanders. After this summer season the Globe theatre will head overseas. Auckland’s loss.