Pop-up Globe is the world’s first full-scale temporary working replica of Shakespeare’s theatre, the second Globe.
The second Globe theatre was built by Shakespeare and his company in 1614, replacing the first Globe theatre which had been destroyed in a disastrous fire the year before.
Known as a ‘stately theatre’, it was famous for the quality of its architecture, decoration and the spectacular nature of the plays which were performed there. It stood for over 30 years before being closed in 1642 at the start of the English Civil War. It was demolished in 1644 and replaced with cheap apartments.
Pop-up Globe is a three-story, 16-sided, 900-person capacity theatre. It unites cutting-edge scaffold technology with a 400-year old design to transport audiences back in time to experience Shakespeare’s masterworks in the space for which they were written. The theatre is constructed from over 100 tonnes of scaffolding skinned with corrugated iron, with a huge double-gabled roof topped by a distinctive onion done. The 100sqm stage stretches out into the yard and wherever audience members sit or stand they are never further than 15 metres from the stage.
Pop-up Globe recreates as accurately as possible the actual performance conditions of the second Globe theatre: live music and dance, ferocious fight sequences and direct address. Every show ends with a rousing jig. The house lights remain on during the evening performances, meaning the actors and audience share the same space and experience – the audience is a vital part of the show.
Pop-up Globe reproduces the audience structure of a Jacobean playhouse. If you want luxury and comfort, you can purchase a seat in one of the Royal Rooms on the stage. If you’d prefer a bit more shelter and to rest your feet, you can buy a seat in the lower, middle or upper galleries and get a full view of both actors and fellow audience members. If you’d like to be in the thick of the action, you can stand in the yard as a ‘Groundling’.
The dimensions and exterior of Pop-up Globe takes as it starting point the ground-breaking research conducted by Associate Professor Tim Fitzpatrick* and Mr Russell Emerson* of the University of Sydney. It’s spectacular interior is based on extensive research conducted by the Pop-up Globe Research & Development team including Dr Miles Gregory and David Lawrence, and realised by Scenic Designer John Charles and Head of Scenic Workshop Malcolm Dale.
*Associate Professor Tim Fitzpatrick, Pop-up Globe Founding Research Fellow, Honorary Associate University of Sydney
*Mr Russell Emerson, Pop-up Globe Founding Research Associate, University of Sydney