Pop-up Globe theatre is the world’s first full-scale temporary working replica of London’s second Globe from the 1600s Shakespeare compared breasts to globes in The Rape of Lucrece, and used a globe in the punchline of a fat joke in The Comedy of Errors. The Pop-Up Globe that’s appeared in the grounds of Melbourne’s Myer Music Bowl serves a kinder purpose, if one no less Shakespearean. It will be staging four of Shakespeare’s plays and a contemporary work with a Shakespearean theme over the course of a repertory season that opens on 21 September and runs until 12 November. The Globe, of course, was Shakespeare’s own famous London playhouse. Built in 1599, it was destroyed by fire in 1613, resurrected in 1614, and “closed by (the) ordinance” of the dastardly Puritans in 1642. By 1645, the history’s dullest religious zealots had had the vocational home of Britain’s greatest theatremaker razed to the ground to make way for tenement buildings. But one should never underestimate the patience of British vengeance; in 1997, a replica Globe was erected in London not too far from the original site and has served as a working theatre ever since. But Melbourne’s present pop-up owes its existence not to this theatre, so much as it does the depiction of the same in a picture book for children.
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