Pop-up Globe will snap back into life this summer for a fourth season — and promises its most controversial line-up yet.
Hamlet headlines the season, which begins in November and also includes contentious "battle of the sexes" comedies The Taming of the Shrew and Measure for Measure - and the bloody comic tragedy Richard III completes the quartet.
Pop-up Globe founder and artistic director Dr Miles Gregory says the new season exposes the ways Shakespeare explored the abuse of power — something that resonates strongly today. The Taming of the Shrew, for example, is regarded as Shakespeare's most proto-feminist play and sees the fiercely independent Kate forced to become her husband's "perfect woman" through starvation and even torture.
"In the age of Weinstein, #metoo and #timesup, it feels entirely right for us to reflect current conversations in the world through ambitious and thought-provoking programming," Gregory says. "As is so often the case, Shakespeare seems to have got there first.
"We believe it's important to take our place in the conversation when we're talking to as many people as we do every year. Our audiences will not be disappointed with the treatment we've given to these global issues."
He's once again promising the theatrical trickery of the Jacobean era, including cannons, flaming arrows, litres of fake blood and hundreds of beautiful bespoke period costume pieces constructed by an in-house wardrobe department.
The company is now casting actors for its next Auckland productions as well as contract staff to work behind-the scenes. The latter sees a 12-strong team of permanent employees swell to 120 full-time staff.
As it prepares for these new summer shows, Pop-up Globe is also about to open in Sydney with the four productions it staged in Auckland earlier this year — A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Macbeth and The Comedy of Errors — on from September. The Sydney dates follow a successful Melbourne 2017 season.
The world's first full-scale temporary working replica of the second Globe Theatre, it has sold some 450,000 tickets in two years to become one of the world's leading theatre institutions comparable to the likes of Cirque du Soleil.
Tickets are now on sale for Richard III and The Taming of the Shrew.
The Taming of the Shrew
Shakespeare's most controversial comedy, it challenges audiences with a fiery power struggle between the sexes. Adorned in Jacobean period costumes, Pop-up Globe's all-male Somerset Company performs.
Polarising, egotistical, unethical: one powerful individual cunningly campaigns his way to the throne, obliterating everything in his path. Once again, the Somerset Company stars.
Measure for Measure
Vienna, a city of brothels, sexual favours and illegitimate children, is the setting for Measure for Measure performed by Pop-up Globe's mixed gender the Nottingham's Company.
The most famous play in the history of theatre, Hamlet is a tragic exploration of revenge, grief, madness and catharsis to be performed by the Nottingham's Company.