It's sold more than half-a-million tickets, performed more than 1000 shows, and wowed audiences across Australasia with its performances. Now, for the first time, the magic of Shakespeare performed in a style for which the Pop-up Globe Theatre Company has become famous is coming to Napier.
The multi-award-winning Auckland-based company announced it will bring its critically-acclaimed productions of the world-renowned Hamlet and wild comedy Measure for Measure, to seven New Zealand cities this year.
Through the genius of its trademark set design, audiences in Dunedin, Nelson, Christchurch, Wellington, Napier, Hamilton and New Plymouth will be transported to the 17th century, treated to a playful and fun style of theatre they're unlikely to have experienced before, organisers say.
The shows feature a specially designed touring set that recreates the scenic design of Pop-up Globe Auckland, the bespoke Jacobean costumes that have become a hallmark of Pop-up Globe performances, and the lively performances of Shakespeare's masterworks that have won the company awards across Australasia, including eight theatre awards in Sydney last year.
Pop-up Globe's founder and artistic director Dr Miles Gregory says the tour is in response to the huge number of requests the company has received from throughout New Zealand.
"Now, for the first time, we've created a touring set and shows that bring all the magic of Pop-up Globe performances - the blood, the incredible audience connection, the dances and song, and above all the remarkable art of Shakespeare done well - to existing theatres, meaning that we can share the extraordinary experience of Pop-up Globe with people all over New Zealand."
Gregory is confident the touring model will allow audiences to share in the magic that audiences of Pop-up Globe theatre itself have been raving about.
"There are many important elements to the Pop-up Globe experience - and the theatre surroundings are just one of them," Dr Gregory explained.
"What's most important is the performance on stage and our actors' relationship to the audience. Pop-up Globe shows are fast-paced, beautifully costumed, funny, and make a very strong connection with our audiences. We have designed an extraordinary set that recreates the atmosphere of our Auckland home theatre, including seating for some lucky audience members on stage, in the heart of the action."
Hawke's Bay Arts Festival director Pitsch Leiser said it is "nice to see initiatives that bring high-quality arts and theatre to the regions".
"From an audience development perspective, it is a fantastic initiative and it means we can grow our arts audience and expose people to good theatre."
The Pop-Up Tour starts in Napier on August 20. Tickets go on sale on Thursday, April 11. Join the wait list to access the best tickets at www.popupglobe.co.nz