All the World’s a… Globe

How does Auckland’s ‘Pop-Up Globe’ compare to Shakespeare’s Globe in London?

People are raving about Auckland’s ‘Pop-Up Globe’ – a replica of Shakespeare’s seventeenth century theatre right here in New Zealand. It’s only temporary; it’s a unique opportunity for Kiwis to see some of Shakespeare’s plays as they should be performed.

Pop Up Globe Auckland ShakespeareA few years ago – oh, God, nearly eight years ago! – I saw a play at the Globe in London. (It was The Merry Wives of Windsor, which I’ve actually just been in as part of the Hamilton Summer Shakespeare… Anyway…) The Globe in London, of course, is a permanent structure and therefore grander by far than the ‘Pop-Up Globe’. The ‘Pop-Up Globe’, however, is a more accurate replica – and it looks pretty damn cool.

The real Globe, which was itself a replica of the first Globe that burned down in 1613, was destroyed by Puritans during the English Civil War.

Here are some pictures of the ‘Pop-Up Globe’ juxtaposed with pictures of the Globe in London. The ‘Pop-Up Globe’ suffers in comparison due to the fact that it’s in a car park, as opposed to on the South Bank of the Thames, and the fact that it’s made of scaffolding and corrugated iron, but it’s still impressive. In fact the inside is kind of beautiful.

The exterior:
Pop Up Globe Auckland Shakespeare


Shakespeare's Globe London


The stage:
Pop Up Globe Stage Auckland Shakespeare


Shakespeare's Globe Stage London


Looking up from the yard:
Pop Up Globe Auckland Shakespeare


Shakespeare's Globe London


I went to the ‘Pop-Up Globe’ last Friday evening to see Romeo and Juliet. I was part of a group of larpers and, well, larpers love to dress up at the slightest excuse. We knew that the Capulets would be costumed in red; the Montagues in green, so we all went in either red or green. We were groundlings, too, so it must have looked quite impressive from above.

The play itself was… well let me put it this way: I’ve never really enjoyed Romeo and Juliet, but I didn’t just enjoy this, I loved it. All of the actors were incredible. All of the language made perfect sense. And it was so funny! Shakespeare isn’t supposed to be earnest – it’s supposed to be entertaining. And this was.

There were still people crying in the audience at the end. I didn’t feel affected enough to cry, but I did feel exhilarated.

If you’re the sort of person who hated Shakespeare at school, I don’t blame you, but go and see a play at the Globe. Seeing Shakespeare as it was meant to be seen might just change your mind about it! (I’m not sure about being a groundling, though. The tickets are cheap, but standing for three hours is not fun. At least we were given free rain ponchos.)

The Pop-Up Globe will only be around until the middle of April, so don’t miss your chance to see Shakespeare done properly.

Shakespeare Stratford Taranaki New Zealand

Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Patea, Taranaki, New Zealand


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