Surreal Shakespeare

SHAKESPEARE at the Pop-up Globe is like a cross between stadium rock and a football match.

Harking back to performances of the Bard’s work at the original Globe theatre in London in 1599, audiences are encouraged to shout and jeer and there’s plenty of bawdy jokes.

But then things take a modern, surreal turn.

In Midsummer Night’s Dream the fairies are traditionally dressed Maoris and the “mechanicals” wear fluoro vests and sing about being tradies.

Shakespearean English mixes with contemporary language to great effect, and a chunk of Maori wasn’t as incomprehensible as you’d imagine. 

• A scene from Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Pop-up Globe. Photo supplied

Antonio Te Maioha is chilling as Oberon, who plots with Puck to play a cruel practical joke on wife Titania (Renaye Tamati) after a quarrel. 

Eds Eramiha’s Puck is a mischievous devil and Rebecca Rogers’ Hermia is pure millennial, asking her lover to carry her designer suitcases as they flee into the forest.

In Twelfith Night sea shanties are sung by French sailors with ridiculously large mustaches, including the females, and the audience laughed out loud as actors hid in fake topiary and wandered across the stage.

Johnny Light almost stole the show as the clownish and effeminate Sir Andrew Aguecheek, emerging from a “tree” in nothing but a pair of undies and a bit of greenery.

The Pop-up Globe is the world’s first full-scale temporary working replica of the second Globe, built in 1614, and is the brainchild of New Zealander Miles Gregory.

The Pop-up Globe will be at Crown Perth from October 9 and includes performances of Measure for Measure, Hamlet, Twelfith Night and Midsummer Night’s Dream.

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