Update (July 27, 2018): Pop-Up Globe Artistic Director and Founder Dr Miles Gregory today announced that the theatre company will reverse its decision to feature all-male productions and is making a commitment to cast equal numbers of male and female actors for every new Auckland season.
The outfit controversially announced that its 2018/19 return season would carry the overarching theme of 'abuse of power', tackling misogyny in the age of the #MeToo movement. The ultimate slap in the face came with the lopsided programming of two all-male productions.
The 2018/19 Auckland season of The Taming of the Shrew, Richard III, Measure for Measure, and Hamlet, will now feature two 50:50 gender-balanced casts. Gregory says, "In any future seasons we will work within this commitment to increase the quality, quantity and diversity of the work we produce, celebrating and sharing the magic of Shakespeare's plays."
After spreading The Bard's word across the ditch this winter, the Pop-Up Globe will return to Auckland with more battles, more blood and its most controversial season yet. From 9 November, the full-scale replica of the second Globe Theatre will come back to life at Ellerslie Racecourse — a location which attracted 100,000 playgoers earlier in the year.
The 2018/19 season will welcome four new productions with the common thread of 'abuse of power'. Headlining the season is the most famous play in history, Hamlet. Pop-Up Globe's Nottingham Company will present the tragedy alongside Shakespeare's most controversial comedy, The Taming of the Shrew, and Measure for Measure, a problem comedy that considers the sexual exploitation and abuse of power. Somerset Company's take on bloody comic tragedy Richard III rounds off the season.
For those who missed out on the last three seasons, the three-storey building seats 900 theatregoers over three tiers and includes standing room for 'groundlings' to recreate the experience of a night out at the 16th century theatre. It will again feature all the spectacular theatrical trickery of the Jacobean era, including cannons, flaming arrows, litres of fake blood and beautiful period costumes constructed by the in-house wardrobe department.