Pop-up Globe opened in Auckland, New Zealand, in February 2016, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, and closed in May 2016 after a record-breaking 12-week run of critically acclaimed productions of Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet. Also featured within the season were visiting productions from seven other local companies. With 90,000 attendees over 127 performances, Pop-up Globe 2016 was the largest festival of Shakespeare ever presented in the Southern Hemisphere.
After a change in location and a redesign of the playhouse interior, Pop-up Globe re-opened at Auckland’s Ellerslie Racecourse in February 2017 with the Pop-up Globe Theatre Company presenting four productions in repertory. Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, As You Like It and Henry V played in Auckland for 14 weeks to 100,000 attendees. The same four productions were joined in repertory by the specially-commissioned play Around the Globe in 60 Minutes! when they transferred to Pop-up Globe Melbourne. Pop-up Globe Melbourne’s season, presented by commercial partners Live Nation Australasia, played from September 2017 to February 2018. It attracted some 150,000 attendances in a critically-acclaimed, twice-extended eighteen-week season.
Pop-up Globe’s third season commenced at Ellerslie Racecourse in December 2017, with A Midsummer Night’s Dream joined in repertory by The Merchant of Venice, Julius Caesar, Macbeth and The Comedy of Errors. By the time these productions closed in April 2018, Pop-up Globe was one of the largest theatre employers in New Zealand and one of the most successful new theatre ventures ever, presenting over 600 performances to more than half a million audience members in just over two years.
Pop-up Globe’s first Sydney season opened in September 2018.