Review Scene: Pop-Up Globe Gala Opening – Thursday 21st September 2017, Shakespeare Gardens, Melbourne

An idea, a vision, a belief and a passion created and founded the first Pop-Up Globe in Auckland in 2015. Two great friends, Dr Miles Gregory (Founder Artistic Director and CEO) and Tobias Grant (Executive Director) joined forces, became business partners and created a full sensory experience. They created something extraordinary. Shakespeare like it’s 1614. Now in Melbourne, the culture capital of the Southern Hemisphere, the Pop-Up Globe Theatre Melbourne Season commenced, sharing this experience with as many people as possible. 50,000 tickets were sold prior to opening night, a great accomplishment and a testament to the grand performance that was about to commence.

A dream to build the world’s first full scale temporary replica of Shakespeare’s theatre, the second Globe, fill it with a festival of Shakespeare’s masterworks and share it with as many people as possible. This is exactly what has been done. The Globe was designed to have the most participation as possible by its audience, an interactive experience in an open-air theatre, open to the all the elements. The audience, no more than 15 metres from the stage, find themselves in the heat of action, being part of the play itself!

Four critically acclaimed productions, all made in-house by annual professional acting ensemble, supported by voice, movement and stage combat specialists, designers, scenic artists, production and stage managers, directors, academics and creative teams. Performed in repertory by two acting companies that perform two plays each. Henry V (1599), As You Like It (1599), Othello (1604) and Much Ado About Nothing (1598-99). These plays were chosen, with a central theme of Jealousy; the stronger the love, the stronger the jealousy. As You Like It, demonstrates jealousy of position and status and then jealousy in love; Orlando’s jealousy of his brother Oliver’s position, and Duke Frederick’s jealousy of his brother’s leadership of the court.

On Thursday 21 September, at 7.30pm there was excitement in the air, a buzz of patrons waiting to eagerly to see, hear, feel and experience the sensations of what the Pop Up Globe experience was all about. Opening night, a performance of As You Like It was filled with jealousy, love, innuendo, sexuality, slapstick and a twist of The Titanic. Written in 1599, Shakespeare still has relevance in our contemporary world. The play touches on love, gender and sexuality, all conditions of our modern world. With a feeling of time travel we are drawn into the experience from the first scene. The audience is alight with an electricity and an energised atmosphere that transports them into the 16th Century. The gags, the sexual innuendo, the laugh out aloud comedy, the musical references to the 21st Century all exciting and igniting outbursts of raucous laughter from the crowd.

Keeping true to the Shakespearian tradition, the female roles were also played by men, as were the sheep. Rosalind is played by Jonathan Tynan-Moss, Celia by Stanley Andrew Jackson III, both extraordinary brilliant. The cast also includes Chris Huntly-Turner as Le Beau, extremely talented, with his French accent and sexual antics, Antonio Te Maioha as Charles (and Audrey), a strong man, Adrian Hooke, brilliant as Orlando, presents an energy and liveliness to the stage and Michael Mohony, as Touchstone, holding the audience engaged at every scene with his musical prowess.

As You Like It takes the audience through a raucous journey of jealousy, family feuding, plots of murder, banishment from court and fleeing for protection to the Forest of Arden. However, in the end Love conquers all. The rendition of Foreigner’s “I Want To Know What Love is” is boisterously merry and coupled with The Titanic “My Heart Will Go On” throughout the entire show, keep the audience singing along and enjoying a modern day Shakespearian experience. The Pop Up Globe in Melbourne, sponsored by the Art Centre Melbourne, is a show not to be missed.

Check out the schedule here

Tickets selling fast |


Check out our Snap Scene below: