Around the Globe in 60 Minutes! is an original show specially-commissioned for the Pop-up Globe which tells part of the story of the famous second Globe theatre.
It does all this in a production about the not-so-well known poet and playwright William Davenant (1606-1668), apparent godson of William Shakespeare (who was rumoured to be his father), and his attempts to save his skin and The Globe. The performance combines history and humour, enough rudeness to keep adults happy while staying within family friendly parameters, and is entertaining and great fun.
Davenant needs money to put on plays and keep himself employed. Oliver Cromwell has banned theatre during the Puritan years after the English Civil War of 1642 and the second Globe sits empty: bad news for actors and playwrights. Davenant’s a favourite of Queen Henrietta Maria and the story revolves around his attempts to play the queen and the puritan leader against each other. The stakes are high – Davenant (also spelt D’Avenant and pronounced by him in the French way) is trying to evade torture and death, and there’s also the pressure of a rather pressing timeline...
William Davenant is a character worth investigating; he eventually became Poet Laureate in 1638 after working for a fascinating array of employers and being sent on various worthy adventures. He later founded the new Duke of York’s Playhouse in Lincoln’s Inn Fields and adapted a version of The Tempest performed there in 1667. This short piece honours an historical figure with an apparently audacious personality.
Around the Globe in 60 Minutes! is a funny and engaging ensemble piece superbly performed with glee by the five actors of the Admiral’s Company, cleverly combining modern references, word play (The Queen’s own show is called The Regina Monologues), a nod to guitar rock, a mash-up of Shakespeare’s more famous plays, and even a specially constructed IKEA torture rack, and one very nasty folk song. You could call it black absurdist farce with elements of pantomime. It aims to get kids enjoying Shakespeare; on the day I went there were only a few kids in the audience and they were clearly intrigued, especially when it came to watching the sword-fighting on stage and joining in the gruesome theme song. Say no more.
See a matinee session at 10.30 am during the week (except Fridays) and on Sundays, or a Friday evening session at 5.30 pm.
The Pop-up Globe presents
Around the Globe in 60 Minutes!
by Pop-up Globe team
Venue: Pop-up Globe | Sidney Myer Music Bowl, VIC
Dates: 17-10-2017 – 12-01-2018
Tickets: $15 – 25