For Tobias Grant, the idea that building a version of Shakespeare's Globe theatre in Auckland might be difficult didn't stop him.

Grant, the executive producer of Pop-up Globe, says the idea hatched by artistic director Miles Gregory was always an ambitious one.

"The plan was to build the world's first full-scale temporary working replica of Shakespeare's theatre and perform a festival of his works in Auckland on the 400th anniversary of his death," Grant said.

"The whole thing was really quite crazy and so ludicrously ambitious it wasn't funny."


Ambitious it may have been, however, the theatre has proved so popular that 180,000 tickets have been sold so far across two seasons.

According to Grant, the whole story of the theatre's development was so unlikely and the barriers associated with making it happen were so high that the team had to be more innovative.

Lack of time was a major issue, with just 18 months to build the theatre and prepare for shows.

Geography was also a major constraint due to the physical size of the theatre, which needed a significant chunk of land for construction.

Resource consent, getting the right network of people on board and convincing the public the idea was doable, were just added issues that needed to be worked through.

"The likelihood of it not succeeding was so high that for it to be achieved in such a short time frame and attract the numbers of people that it has means it has been regarded as a pretty innovative success," Grant said.

Grant is the keynote speaker at next week's PwC Herald Talks in Auckland.
PwC Herald Talks - Innovation
• May 10
• 7am-9am
• SKYCITY Theatre
• Tickets available on iTicket
• Tickets - $89