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I never thought I’d leave a theatre in blood stained clothes with a smile across my face, but that was before I witnessed the splendour of the Globe.
On 26 November, the Year 11 Literature and Drama classes alongside recently graduated Year 12 students had the pleasure of viewing William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, performed at Crown’s highly anticipated Pop-Up Globe. As we were no stranger to the excitement and playful nature of Shakespeare’s various comedies, we ultimately held high expectations of the performance to come, and it’s safe to say weren’t disappointed.
The infrastructure of the Globe itself was a highlight for all. Constructed to work as a temporary working replica of the second Globe in which many of Shakespeare’s works had once been performed, the building helped establish the mood of the play, transporting us back to the 17th century. As true to the original structure, the theatre has three tiers of seating which encircled the raised stage and standing area. As it was a quieter session, we were encouraged to stand in the yard area (where peasants once stood and watched from in the original Globe theatre). Standing so close to the action was especially enjoyable as we were able to fully immerse ourselves within the drama as the actors interacted with us through humour and body language. Our supervising teachers were even included in the actors’ dialogues from time to time!
This particular performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was presented by the Pop-up Globe Exeter’s Company whom portrayed a contemporary twist to the Shakespearian classic. I especially enjoyed the combination of the Jacobean costumes worn by characters such as Lysander and Hermia which contrasted to the traditional tribal clothing worn by Titania. However, what really made this rendition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream unique was the director’s decision to incorporate aspects of the Māori culture through song, costuming and dance. This was completely unexpected by students whom had previously studied the play, but nevertheless we all thoroughly enjoyed this exploration of culture.
Attending Crown’s Pop-Up Globe theatre is definitely a personal highlight of mine from the 2019 Year 11 Literature course. I thoroughly enjoyed A Midsummer Night’s Dream and being able to watch it in such a special venue alongside my peers only increased my enjoyment of the experience. I wish I could go again!
Year 11 Literature student