Kings Domain Gardens,
The Pop-up Globe Theatre is the world’s first full scale, travelling replica of one of the greatest theatre venues of all time….The (original) Globe.
If you’ve never heard of The Globe, here’s a brief history lesson…. This theatre (well the original not the was pop-up) was originally built in London in 1559 by Shakespeare’s playing company. There were a couple of versions built due to fire and community squabbles before the theatre was shut down for many years. In 1997 “Shakespeare’s Globe” opened in London, just over 200m from the original site. This unique theatre is said to be designed in the best way to experience Shakespeare; in fact it is the stage these plays were written for.
So fast forward to present day Melbourne and the Pop-Up Globe has popped up right next to the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in the CBD. I went to the opening night to As You Like It.
I’ll be honest… I’m not a Shakespeare buff. I haven’t read any plays (except for those we were made to read in school), and am only familiar with a handful of stories. But, I HAD been to Shakespeare’s Globe in London and had a great time, so I was confident I would enjoy the show.
If you’re a bit of a Shakespeare novice too, As You Like It is an all male comedy set in 1642. Here’s a little summary I grabbed from the Pop-Up Globe website:
“A young girl and her friend, wanted by the authorities, escape the tyrannical court and find shelter in the ancient forest of Arden. But they’re not alone. And as the forest works its transformative magic on all those who seek refuge there, love and life have never felt more precious.”
So here’s what I thought..
- This show was funny, like seriously laugh out loud funny a heap of times.
- I understood about 3/4 of the shows content…not bad for a Shakespearean novice!
- The acting was incredible! The cast are essentially using body language and emphasising particular words to get their messages across. It is really clever to watch. So even if you don’t quite get what they’re saying, you’ll get the meaning behind it….I promise.
- There is a great mash up of modern jokes and pop culture references throughout As You Like It. These might not seem to fit with Shakespeare traditionally, but they certainly made for a heap of little giggles throughout the show (and even some modern day sing a longs).
- I loved that this show includes a gay wedding….such irony given the current political climate in Melbourne.
If you visit you have a few different options with how to experience the Pop-Up Globe.
Groundling tickets. This is a standing only area, sitting is not permitted for safety reasons, but these are only $20.33, so a complete bargain! These guys are right in the heart of the play. There is a lot of audience interaction and the cast are constantly walking amongst them. These cheap “seats” are actually pretty amazing!
Seated tickets start from around $60, but you get to sit down, and get shelter from the elements….those groundlings might get wet!
Want it cheaper?
- Weekday matiness are a little bit cheaper, but really for a groundling ticket for just over $20, I reckon that’s a bargain!!
- Or save 20% if you book 2 or more shows
I had a fantastic girl’s night out seeing a bit of Shakespeare (there’s even coffee and donuts to grab at intermission….my favourite), and hope to return to see at least one more show while the Pop-Up Globe is here in Melbourne; Othello, Much Ado About Nothing and Henry V are currently showing also.
For more info or to book tickets head over to https://popupglobe.com.au/