TWELFTH NIGHT @ Pop-up Globe gets 8.5/10

Twelfth Night @ Pop-up Globe
Wednesday, October 9, 2019


One of the most grandiose, decadent productions you are ever likely to see grace Perth, this pop-up version of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is impressive in every way. From the moment you witness the exterior of the replica’s outline against the skyline in the unlikely surrounds of the Crown Casino’s carpark, resplendent in its scale, it’s nothing short of pure joy. To witness such an ambitious undertaking take form is positively breathtaking. Covered liberally in Shakespeare’s script on its exterior, to actually enter the iconic building is almost tear-jerking in nostalgia.

The theatre is open to the beautiful spring Perth sky, as the original building was, albeit to less sublime London air. Speaking of air, it’s positively electric with anticipation. The seasoned theatre-goer will find it invigorating, being surrounded by such enthusiasm and immersed in a theatrical experience as it was meant to be – the crowd completely indulging in it wholeheartedly. As every audience member is invited to be part of the play, the theatre remains lit throughout the performance, and photos are actually encouraged as much as participation – minus the veggie throwing of Shakespeare’s day. There are limits to the authenticity.

This is not the stuffy Shakespeare you might recall from your year 10 English Literature class. This shit is lit AF, and Willy S would approve. If you’re not overly familiar with Shakespeare’s works, you should know that he was groundbreaking in his time. He was considered sassy and brassy and his verse would have put Yeezy or Drake to shame if they were to throw down in a 2019 battle.

Pop-up Globe is certainly not one for theatre snobs wanting Shakespearean authenticity. In Twelfth Night, the first scene is twisted, and the liberties taken continue throughout. But this only serves to make it more relevant and relatable to modern audiences. It’s worth considering that when these plays were written, they were timely, so translation to timely colloquialisms would please the man himself. It’s all about accessibility to great art.

Delivering the highest of highbrow theatre with such a degree of levity, cheek and sass is such a classic Kiwi move, and one that is perfect for the Perth sense of irreverence. It is a frolicking, rocking good time, with some incredible performances by everyone involved, but massive kudos and praise to the set designers and construction workers, and the cast who usually perform twice a day.

Pop-up Globe is not just a piece of theatre, it’s a phenomenal experience, and one you’ll want to return to time and again. You don’t want to be the one to say you missed out.