A message from Pop-up Globe’s Artistic Director and Founder, Dr Miles Gregory:

Dear friends,

When we started Pop-up Globe we could never have imagined that, like Shakespeare’s company itself, we would be impacted by a pandemic! These are troubling times for us all, but together we will endure the clouds and prepare for the sun to shine again soon.

There’s no doubt that the pandemic has had a seismic impact on the global arts and culture ecology. Live performance is a communal act, and it is now impossible for us gather together for the transformative and life-giving communal experience that the arts bring.

The massive disruption to all arts and culture institutions, and individual artists, caused by this event will eventually pass – but I am certain that the arts will be of increasing importance in the coming months and years because it is only through the act of storytelling that we understand the world around us and our place in it.

When our country – and the world – re-emerges into peace and prosperity, we will need artists and theatremakers to tell the story of these times and to help us find deeper meaning in the suffering and hardship that many are already enduring.

I urge the government, local authorities, and individuals to do whatever they can to support our artists and artistic organisations who need our help now more than ever before. I urge all artists to be innovative in these troubling times and to tell the story of our age in whatever ways they find possible. And I would ask our audiences to help artists as much as they can by buying a ticket or making a donation to the arts organisations that they care about. We are resilient, and we will get through this together.

There are some lines from the late fourteenth century poem “The vision of Piers Plowman” by William Langland that I will leave you with. They’ve inspired me for many years, and I hope you find them comforting too.

“After sharp showers,” said Peace, “the sun shines brightest;
No weather is warmer than after watery clouds;
Nor any love dearer, or more loving friends;
Than after war and woe, when Love and Peace are masters.
There was never war in this world, or wickedness so keen,
That Love, if he liked, could not turn to laughter,
And Peace, through patience, put an end to all perils.”

I wish love and peace to you all as we navigate our way through these extraordinary times.

Warmest wishes,

Miles

19 April 2020