Who reads screenplays for fun?

Drama is written to be performed, so if you only know William Shakespeare through classroom lessons get yourself along to a show at Pop-up Globe during the next 10 weeks and earn a new appreciation for the Bard's work.

So here's an A-Z of the plays on at Pop-up Globe and a bonus: Shakespeare-derived words and phrases from some of the plays. An incredible number of lines from his plays have become so ingrained into modern language that we no longer recognise them as lines from plays at all.

Antony & Cleopatra

Byrnes Productions


"When hearts collide, nations break." The extraordinary story of the passionate love between a general and his enemy's queen is radically re-worked, given a contemporary setting, and performed by a large ensemble of young, fearless, energetic and musical professional actors.

Season: March 28-April 9, selected dates.


The Lord Lackbeard's Touring Company

Performed by an all-female cast, the world's most famous play is presented in an intoxicating interpretation that mixes modern and historic conventions. Struggling to come to terms with his father's death and mother's remarriage to his uncle, Hamlet encounters his father's ghost. Shaken and confused, unsure of what to believe, Hamlet turns to the audience to find the meaning of existence.

Season: April 11 only

Quote: Hamlet, Act III, Scene I and The Winter's Tale, Act IV, Scene IV "Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery, go."

Though Shakespeare never actually used the full phrase "pure as the driven snow", both parts of it appear in his work. For the record, this simile works best right after the snow falls, and not a few hours later, when tyres and footprints turn it into brown slush.

Henry V

The tale of one of history's greatest leaders is told by an innovative all-female cast in Henry V.
The tale of one of history's greatest leaders is told by an innovative all-female cast in Henry V.

SHAKEITUP! in association with Sharu Loves Hats

Shakespeare's epic exploration of war, brotherhood, and what a man will sacrifice to become one of history's greatest leaders, gets a contemporary makeover in an innovative version performed by an all-female cast.

Season: February 28-March 9, selected dates.

Quote: Henry V, Act IV, Scene I: "The king's a bawcock, and a heart of gold, a lad of life, an imp of fame, of parents good, of fist most valiant." Turns out, the phrase "heart of gold" existed before Douglas Adams used it as the name of the first spaceship to use the Infinite Improbability Drive in The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy.

Much Adoe About Nothing

(It's not a typo. Ado had an e on the end in 1623) Young Auckland Shakespeare Company brings the classic battle of the sexes to life in an "original practices"-inspired production with a cross-gender twist. Featuring a cast of 22 young actors aged 14-25, performing in period Elizabethan costume.

Season: February 21 only

Quote: Much Ado About Nothing, Act V, Scene I. "If he could right himself with quarrelling, some of us would lie low." Shakespeare's plays contain brilliant wisdom that still applies today. In "lie low", he concocted the perfect two-word PR advice for every celebrity embroiled in a scandal.

Romeo and Juliet

Pop-up Globe Theatre Company

In a divided society, a boy and a girl meet. Their forbidden love will change their world - and yours - forever. A specially formed international company of actors and live musicians directed by Ben Naylor (UK) takes a fresh look at the world's most famous love story.

Season: February 19-April 2016, selected dates.

Quote: Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene IV: "Nay, if our wits run the wild-goose chase, I am done, for thou hast more of the wild-goose in one of thy wits than, I am sure, I have in my whole five. Was I with you there for the goose?" This term didn't originally refer to actual geese but a type of horse race.


Fractious Tash

Shakespeare's bloody and vengeful masterpiece famously features a dark Elizabethan take on the good old Kiwi pie. Regarded as one of Shakespeare's bloodiest works, this reworking of Titus Andronicus is told at breakneck speed with just seven young professional actors in an all-male, explosive adaptation by award-winning director Benjamin Henson.

Season: March 13-March 20, selected dates

The Tempest

Auckland University Student's Association Outdoor Summer Shakespeare Trust

presents Shakespeare's last solo work for the stage. It sees the magician Prospero bring his enemies to his enchanted island, where love and magic intertwine to achieve lasting reconciliation. Performed by a full cast and live musicians, this production marks a new departure in AUSA Outdoor Summer Shakespeare's more than 50 -year history.

Season: March 1-March 13, selected dates

Quote: The Tempest, Act V, Scene I: "Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle, and I would call it fair play." - Miranda, Prospero's daughter, never would have been able to predict that "fair play" would be used more often now in sports than for the negotiation of kingdoms.

Twelfth Night

A masterclass in laugh-out-loud comedy performed by a specially formed international company of actors and live musicians directed by Dr Miles Gregory. A young girl and her identical twin brother are transformed by their adventures in a land where intoxicating love is in the very air. Set in 1616, and performed by a professional all-male cast of 18 in bespoke Jacobean costumes.

Season: February 20-April 2016, selected dates