The world’s first full-scale replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre will be popping up in Melbourne from September this year.
The open-air pop-up theatre made its debut in Auckland in 2016 to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. The theatre was so successful, it had to extend its season. Twice. The replica’s imminent manifestation in Melbourne is largely off the back of this success.
Capable of accommodating 900 spectators, the three-storey theatre has been designed off a 400-year-old blueprint for the original English theatre. One of the sections relied on digital design for its creation. The rest has been created by hand.
The Globe pop-up has been designed so that, really, there are no bad seats. No matter where you sit in the grandstands, you will never be more than 14 metres away from the action on stage.
The design of the replica theatre is based on extensive research by the associate professor Tim Fitzpatrick and Russell Emerson of the University of Sydney. Historical accuracy was at the core of their plans for the pop-up, and has resulted in the most accurate replica that has been built to date.
As for what happens on stage, performances at the pop-up Globe will – unsurprisingly – be wholly based around the Bard’s own work. As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, and Henry V all form part of the program that will run from 21 September until 12 November. For those more interested in the architecture of the Globe itself, there will also be 60-minute tours of the theatre that delve into the theatre’s rich history, including its fiery demise in 1613. A second Globe theatre was constructed in its place, but in 1644, it was demolished once more, this time for apartment buildings.
The PopUp Globe will sit in the Shakespeare Garden in Melbourne – opposite the Sidney Myer Music Bowl – from 21 September to 12 November 2017. Tickets and information here.