Pop-Up Globe Celebrates 1000th Performance

Press Release – Pop-Up Globe


The homegrown international smash-hit theatre Pop-up Globe celebrates its 1000th performance this weekend with world premieres of Hamlet and Measure for Measure.

In the three years since the world’s first temporary working replica of the second Globe popped up in a carpark in Auckland’s CBD for its debut season, Pop-up Globe has shared the joy of Shakespeare performed in the space for which it was written with over half-a-million fans across four local seasons and two Australian tours.

“We’re proud to have become one of Australasia’s major producing theatres,” says founder and artistic director, Dr Miles Gregory, “and this weekend we open our 16th and 17th productions – a major output of work in just three years.”

“It’s marvellous that New Zealanders and Australians have enjoyed Pop-up Globe so much, making it possible for us to reach our 1000th performance. I guess this shows Shakespeare is very much alive and well in Auckland today.”

Pop-up Globe will roll out the red carpet tonight for the opening of comedy Measure for Measure in what promises to be a Moulin Rouge extravaganza, Shakespeare-style.

The blockbuster tale of Hamlet will take the stage from tomorrow evening, much to the delight of fans waiting for Pop-up Globe to perform the most famous play ever written.

“Hamlet is quite rightly regarded as the best play ever written”, Dr Gregory says. “It is not only packed with lines that almost everyone will be familiar with – “To be or not to be, that is the question” is probably the most famous – but is a truly great work of art that explores the human condition in a way that few other plays can match. If you haven’t seen Hamlet before, this is a great opportunity to see why this play changed the way we think about ourselves as humans.”

The same ensemble perform in Measure for Measure, in a new adaptation directed by Dr Gregory, who won Best Director in the BroadwayWorld Sydney theatre awards for his production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which itself won Best Play in the same awards round.

All over the world leading Shakespeare companies are currently producing Measure for Measure. Although primarily an uproarious comedy of mistaken identity featuring larger than life characters ranging from independent brothel-keepers to inept police officers, the play is particularly topical as its central plot explores a horrifying abuse of power: the corrupt ruler of Vienna attempts to extort sexual favours from a young novice nun, in return for saving her brother’s life. When the nun threatens him with exposure, he replies with a chilling question: “Who will believe thee, Isabella?”

Dr Gregory chose the play for inclusion in the 2019 season precisely because of this topicality, but stresses that the production fully explores the comedy in the play alongside this darker theme.

“This is an all-singing, all-dancing production that we’ve nicknamed ‘Shakespeare’s Moulin Rouge’. We don’t shy away from the dark heart of the play, instead we think the darkness is heightened by the hilarious comedy that surrounds it.”

Measure for Measure has been reworked to include a number of songs and dances, turning the production into the largest musical piece yet to be produced by the company. Composer Paul McLaney has written eight new musical numbers with choreography by the award-winning Brigid Costello.

Hamlet and Measure for Measure are running for a limited season of 6 weeks only and will close on 31 March. Measure for Measure opens on February 14. Hamlet opens on February 15. Tickets from $5.

About the cast
Much-loved Kiwi actress Amanda Billing returns to Pop-up Globe having played Lady Macbeth in Auckland and Sydney in a tour-de-force that saw her nominated for best actress at the prestigious BroadwayWorld Sydney theatre awards to star as Mistress Overdone, the madam with a heart of gold, in controversial comedy Measure for Measure.

Billing will be joined by a newly-formed acting ensemble of fourteen including Pop-up Globe fan favourite Adrian Hooke, who made his professional acting debut with Pop-up Globe as Feste in the 2016 season production of Twelfth Night, before playing Orlando over 148 times for Pop-up Globe in both Auckland and Melbourne, takes on the challenge of his acting career in the title role in Hamlet.

Rising Kiwi star Summer Millett, a recent graduate of Toi Whakaari, will play Ophelia opposite Hooke as Hamlet. The production is directed by Pop-up Globe’s associate artistic director, David Lawrence, and marks the first time the company have staged Hamlet, widely regarded as the most famous play ever written.

For the full cast list, click here

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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