REVIEW: Macbeth (Pop-up Globe)

February 11, 2018
[Fresh Daggers in Familiar Smiles] Directed by Tom Mallaburn, the Pop-up Globe’s production of Macbeth is mostly a traditional take on the material. I say mostly, because the show’s creators make one interesting addition right at the top which causes ripples throughout the rest of the show. There has always been a theory that the Macbeth’s had lost a child [Lady Macbeth […]

REVIEW: Julius Caesar (Pop-up Globe)

January 26, 2018
[Bloodbath and Beyond] For all the controversy surrounding the Public Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar last year, casting a Trump-like leader in the title role, the Pop-up Globe’s rendition of the play is a far less critical reflection of our contemporary world. Outside of a few banners with familiar taglines and some playful anachronisms, director Rita […]

SCENE BY JAMES: 2017 – A Theatrical Year in Review

December 29, 2017
[Theatre by the Numbers] 150,000 Aucklanders can’t be wrong, right? These are the approximate combined totals of audiences who flocked to the Pop-up Globe and Pleasuredome: The Musical in 2017. Compare that with the record-breaking 130,000 who went to Adele’s Auckland concerts this year. And that’s not even including the Globe’s jump across the Tasman, where their productions are still […]

SCENE BY JAMES: The Battle for Shakespeare, or, is the Pop-up Globe as you like it?

April 30, 2017
[Pop-up Globe 2017 Season] At Auckland’s Pop-up Globe, Shakespeare is enjoying a 400-year-old career resurgence. Shattering any lingering perceptions that Shakespeare might be elitist or alienating, this year 80,000 people have paid paying anywhere from $1 to stand as a ‘groundling’ in the yard, to $299 for a royal room at the side of the stage. The atmosphere in the […]

REVIEW: Othello (Pop-up Globe)

March 12, 2017
[All About Iago] The problematic racial politics of Othello are scrutinised for a good reason. You have a play that centers around a dark-skinned man being tricked by, typically, a light-skinned man, into killing his white wife. So, looking at it as a modern audience, is it an examination of otherness or a perpetuation of it? Director Ben Naylor’s production […]

REVIEW: Antony and Cleopatra (Pop-up Globe)

April 3, 2016
[Cleopatra comin’ atcha] I have not read Antony and Cleopatra in years. It was never one of my ‘go-tos’, so my knowledge of its intricacies and minor details is almost non-existent. However, even if you have not read the play, Antony and Cleopatra are not exactly obscure. Ask anyone on the street and they could tell you something about them— the […]

REVIEW: Titus (Pop-up Globe)

March 15, 2016
[Bad Taste] Originally staged as a Unitec graduate show with an all-male cast in 2012, and subsequently revived at Q Theatre in 2013, Titus returns for a third time at the Pop-up Globe. While I can’t speak for the quality of the previous seasons, I can safely say that you won’t see a more accessible version of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus […]

REVIEW: The Tempest (Pop-up Globe)

March 2, 2016
[The Globe is full of Noises] The problem with The Tempest is that even with its self-awareness as a play, or perhaps in spite of it, it is not a dramatic work. Events of action both past and present are relegated to exposition. There is no onstage conflict; no scene in which two characters fight for opposing objectives. There are, […]

REVIEW: Twelfth Night (Pop-up Globe)

March 1, 2016
[Drowning in Illyria] It seems appropriate that a play which revolves around two shipwrecked siblings is victim to Auckland’s inconstant elements. While a rain-soaked atmosphere won’t be part of everyone’s Twelfth Night experience, the unpredictability of the weather is an integral part of attending the Pop-up Globe, especially for the exposed groundlings. The actors, despite having to compete with the […]

REVIEW: Henry V (Pop-up Globe)

March 1, 2016
[An Incomplete Herstory] They say history is written by the winners, yet Shakespeare, for all the nationalism evoked in Henry V, is conscious of the moral predicament that his hero (if he can be called that) faces. It’s important, then, where the production stands on the subject. Is this an anti-war narrative, a celebration, a history lesson or something else […]
1 2