Pop-up Globe re­turns for sum­mer

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Con­struc­tion is un­der­way on the sec­ond it­er­a­tion of Auck­land’s Pop-up Globe theatre.

Af­ter a dream run in 2016 that saw the com­pany’s sea­son ex­tended twice and more than 100,000 tick­ets sold, the theatre, a scale replica of the Sec­ond Globe Theatre where many of Shake­speare’s plays were orig­i­nally per­formed, is pop­ping up in the gar­dens at Eller­slie Race­course.

Scaf­fold­ing com­pany Camelspace, which built the last Globe, has also been con­tracted to build the sec­ond it­er­a­tion.

Oper­a­tions di­rec­tor Mick Spratling says the new lo­ca­tion has brought with it a se­ries of new chal­lenges.

The Pop-up Globe’s orig­i­nal theatre was built in a con­crete park­ing lot near Queen St, which meant it didn’t need foun­da­tions.

How­ever be­cause the new ver­sion is built on grass, con­crete pads had to be in­stalled to build it on, re­quir­ing over 200 met­ric tonnes of con­crete and steel mesh.

Spratling said his team en­joyed the chal­lenges of build­ing such an un­usual struc­ture. Un­like most of the struc­tures they build, which are only used by trades­peo­ple, the theatre could be en­joyed by ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing the work­ers who built it, Spratling said.

Mak­ing the scaf­fold­ers’ job more dif­fi­cult is Pop-up Globe artis­tic di­rec­tor Dr Miles Gre­gory, who has cooked up sev­eral im­prove­ments to the orig­i­nal Popup Globe to make it closer to the Ja­cobean orig­i­nal.

These in­clude an onion dome on the roof which will fil­ter a halo of nat­u­ral light down onto the stage, as well as a lav­ishly dec­o­rated stage­front.

The changes are closely in­formed by re­search into the orig­i­nal theatre. Even the size and colour of the bricks on the stage­front are in­formed by re­search. The new theatre also fea­tures a painted ceil­ing which will be lifted on along with the rest of the roof by a crane. The fin­ished three-storey build­ing will al­low 900 peo­ple to watch plays, with a range of seat­ing and stand­ing tick­ets avail­able.

With con­struc­tion un­der­way and re­hearsals for the plays in full swing, Gre­gory said it felt like the project was gath­er­ing mo­men­tum. ‘‘Most peo­ple would say it’s im­pos­si­ble, but it is pos­si­ble and we’re go­ing to do it - and we’re hav­ing a great time do­ing it, as well,’’ he said.

BE­VAN READ

Pop-up Globe artis­tic di­rec­tor Dr Miles Gre­gory with a model of the theatre’s sec­ond it­er­a­tion at Eller­slie Race­course.

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