Pop-up Globe is going nationwide.
Having sold more than half a million tickets to audiences in Auckland, Melbourne and Sydney and performed about 1000 shows, the company has found an ingenious way to take its productions to regional centres.
Rather than building a full-scale replica of Shakespeare's second Globe Theatre – as it has done in Auckland and Australia – it's been inspired by 17th century designs for a lesser known style of theatre but one where Shakespeare's plays may have been performed.
Called cockpit theatres, the smaller indoor playhouses were constructed in buildings originally used for cock fights – in Shakespeare's day, a pastime as popular as theatre. Head of Pop-up Globe's scenic workshop, Malcolm Dale, has spent two years refining designs based on cockpit theatres so the company can hit the road.
He likens the touring set and stage to the way a theatre company might have set up in the great hall of a Jacobean manor house so, for example, the king and his guests could watch a more intimate indoors performance.
It will allow the multi-award-winning theatre company to take its productions of Hamlet and Measure for Measure to Dunedin, Nelson, Christchurch, Wellington, Napier, Hamilton and New Plymouth. The touring set features the scenic design of Pop-up Globe Auckland while casts will wear the bespoke Jacobean costumes that have become a hallmark of performances.
Pop-up Globe's artistic director Dr Miles Gregory the company has received numerous requests to travel around New Zealand. He says this will allow it do so while maintaining the quality of its productions.
"We want to be able to take our shows indoors in a way that takes the magic with them and gives audiences the best experience possible."
• Tickets for regional shows go on sale on Thursday.