BLAST FROM THE PAST

Written by root. Posted in Featured Article, FEATURES

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Published on November 13, 2017 with No Comments

All the world’s really a stage in Melbourne.

Words GRACE OOI
Images POP-UP GLOBE

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Much Ado About Nothing. Credit(s): Pop-up Globe

 

Imagine seeing Shakespeare’s plays in the environment in which they were crafted for. This was the vision New Zealand-born and Shakespearean scholar Dr Miles Gregory had upon looking at his daughter’s picture pop-up book one day that ultimately gave birth to an anatomically correct full-scale model of the second Globe Theatre.

Following hot on the heels of its initial sell-out success in Auckland, New Zealand, Pop-up Globe and its team of artists are now in Melbourne until 12 November to give audiences the feel and magic of an authentic Shakespearean play.

Dr Gregory, having added Pop-up Globe founder and Artistic Director titles to his cap says, he believes Shakespeare’s work performed in the space it is written for is a completely unique and transformative experience. “Our audiences are blown away by the immersive experience of seeing Shakespeare performed in the space for which it was written. The relationship between actor and audience, the spectacular space itself, together with the power of Shakespeare’s incredible work, means attending plays at Pop-up Globe is totally different from anything you’ve seen before.

“This isn’t dusty Shakespeare. This is now. Alive. Like a party,” adds Gregory. The first Globe stood for 14 years until a disastrous fire demolished it in 1613. The second Globe was rebuilt on the same foundations by Shakespeare and his company significantly modifying the original first Globe to create what became one of the most famous theatres in history.

Pop-up Globe is a three-storey, 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.

The audacious project was originally planned as a one-off in Auckland to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 2016. Created entirely from scratch by an international company and cast in less than 18 months, Pop-up Globe took the city by storm welcoming more than 100,000 attendances in a season extended twice by popular demand.

In Melbourne, the Pop-up Globe theatre was constructed in the newly-launched Shakespeare Gardens adjacent the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Built over a period of six weeks, it features all the spectacular theatrical trickery of the Jacobean era, including cannons, flaming arrows, hundreds of litres of fake blood, hand-forged armoury and more than 450 beautiful bespoke period costumes pieces specially constructed by the Pop-up Globe in-house wardrobe department. The dimensions and exterior of Pop-up Globe takes as it starting point the ground-breaking research conducted by Associate Professor Tim Fitzpatrick and Mr Russell Emerson of the University of Sydney. Its spectacular interior is based on extensive research conducted by the Pop-up Globe Research & Development team including Dr Miles Gregory and David Lawrence, and realised by Scenic Designer John Charles and Head of Scenic Workshop Malcolm Dale.

Capped with an onion dome, Pop-up Globe will be a remarkable feature of the Melbourne cityscape, just as the second Globe was in London. For its Melbourne season, Pop-up Globe brings with it a travelling festival of four critically acclaimed productions – the riotous comedy As You Like It, the uproarious rom-com Much Ado About Nothing, psychological thriller Othello and the bloody war epic Henry V. Additionally, Melbourne audiences will be the first to see a specially-commissioned new show, Around the Globe in 60 Minutes!, which will thrust audiences into the maelstrom of history, allowing them to experience the triumphs and disasters that tell the incredible story of the second Globe Theatre.

 

Royal Brunei Airlines flies Melbourne daily. Discover things to do in Melbourne in www.muhibah.com.bn

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