Auckland's Pop-up Globe is going international thanks to the entertainment company behind tours by the likes of Adele, Bruno Mars, Little Mix and Ariana Grande.
Live Nation today announced it is bringing PuG to Melbourne for an eight week season starting in September.
Michael Coppel, chairman of Live Nation Australasia, says it's the most exciting theatre project they've seen in a long time and will be a unique theatre experience for Australian audiences.
PuG's four most recent productions - the comedies As You Like It and Much Ado About Nothing, Othello and the bloody war epic Henry V - will go to Melbourne where audiences will also be the first to see a specially-commissioned new show, Around the Globe in 60 Minutes! This tells the story of the second Globe Theatre on which PuG is modelled.
The cast is still being confirmed but those involved in this year's Auckland season were told some months ago an international tour was likely. Scaffolding company Camel will put up the three-storeyed theatre, which can hold 900, next to Melbourne's iconic Sidney Myer Music Bowl.
PuG founder and artistic director Dr Miles Gregory says he's thrilled the theatre, a full-scale temporary working replica of the second Globe, will make its international debut in one of the world's greatest theatre and cultural cities.
"We can't wait to welcome Melbourne audiences to this unique space to experience
Shakespeare like it's 1614," says Gregory.
"Our audiences have been 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."
Originally planned as a one-off in Auckland to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death in 2016, PuG quickly won over Kiwi audiences. It attracted more than 100,000 attendances in a season that was twice extended by popular demand. It returned earlier this year and, once again, clocked up another 100,000 attendances.
With word of mouth going global, promoters and representatives from cities around the world travelled to Auckland to see the theatre for themselves.
For its first international outing, PuG will be in Melbourne's until November. It's not known whether there is capacity for the season to be extended should demand prove as great as it was in Auckland.