Pop-up Globe reaches new heights with Anthony Harper

Since its introduction to Auckland in 2016, the Pop-up Globe has been a welcome addition to the city’s cultural calendar.

Pop Up Globe

Much as Shakespeare was able to do at its original London namesake, the world’s first full-scale reconstruction of the Second Globe Theatre (and the talented team behind it) have brought theatre to the people in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Driven by the vision of artistic director Dr Miles Gregory and executive director Tobias Grant, the first Pop-up Globe was constructed next to Auckland’s Town Hall in 2016. Its inaugural season brought to life plays such as Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet, to record attendance.

The second season (which ran earlier this year) was housed in a new and improved structure at Auckland’s Ellerslie Racecourse, and featured imaginative and whimsical interpretations of Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, As You Like It and Henry V. And, in a classic “punching above our weight” story, Pop-up Globe is taking New Zealand to the world with its first international season currently underway in Melbourne.

While the topsy-turvy world of treading the boards may seem far removed from the practice of law, one firm has bridged that gap. A key sponsor of the Pop-up Globe since its inception, and now foundation sponsor for the upcoming season, Anthony Harper’s collaboration with the Pop-up Globe has proven to be one of the most successful of its kind, and the firm is now up for the award of “Best Arts or Cultural Event Sponsorship of the Year” at the New Zealand Event Awards 2017 later this month.

On expanding to Auckland from its traditional base in Christchurch, Anthony Harper had been looking for “something different” which it could get behind, outside the usual mould of corporate sponsorship. So, when a brochure for an intriguing new theatre venture landed on the firm’s desk, they “simply had to know more”.

“A replica of Shakespeare’s theatre, a full season of Elizabethan plays, and all set to pop-up in a bespoke theatre made of scaffolding, in Auckland – what was not to love about so daring a project? Within two weeks, despite the very real risk of sponsoring such an ambitious and untried venture, we signed and became the Pop-up Globe’s sponsor,” says Anthony Harper Business Development and Marketing Manager, Lythan Chapman.

“Successful collaborations are those where there’s an alignment of values between the parties. With the Pop-up Globe, we were fortunate to find an organisation that shared our values. We are both innovative, driven to provide excellent service and we both strive to be more than the sum of our parts – a wish to give back and enhance our team, our clients/audience and our community,” she says.

“Anthony Harper was delighted to help to bring the magic of the Pop-up Globe to our clients, contacts, team and the world – and proof positive, if any was needed, that together the arts and businesses can forge a positive alliance.”

Pop-up Globe founder Dr Miles Gregory agrees: “Anthony Harper was very engaged and an incredibly enthusiastic party to the whole project. From Pop-up Globe’s perspective Anthony Harper worked alongside the company like ‘the pit team’, offering continuous support for the project and flying the flag.”

Anthony Harper has been thrilled with the results of its Pop-up Globe partnership, not only because of the theatre’s undeniable success (over 200,000 play-goers have now passed through its doors), but also in terms of the chance to give back to clients and the wider community. A private performance of Much Ado About Nothing for invited guests was hugely popular, as were behind-the-scenes opportunities to learn the art of stage fighting and to see how the amazing costumes and props are lovingly put together.

The firm was also very keen to help the Pop-up Globe share Shakespeare with as many people as possible. Over 20,000 schoolchildren attended a performance, and Anthony Harper also enabled 240 children (including schoolchildren from the Northland town of Kaeo) to see the work of the Bard. Many of these children would not have otherwise had the opportunity to experience the magic of live theatre, and this outreach aspect is something that those involved are keen to grow in the future.

“We took a risk with an unknown initiative and we backed it to the hilt,” says Ms Chapman. “It was a huge punt but the return has been phenomenal.”

“For us, it is so much more than a client event or our name on tickets, it is about giving back to our team, our clients and the wider community and being an important part of the Pop-up family.”

The New Zealand Event Awards 2017 are taking place later this month. For more on what is coming up for the Pop-up Globe, keep an eye on its website https://popupglobe.co.nz/.

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