Pop-up Globe theatre founder apologises, but no word if women will act

8:19 pm on 19 July 2018

The founder of Auckland's Pop-up Globe theatre has apologised for casting only men in some of the Shakespeare shows later this year.

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Inside the Pop-up Globe in Auckland. Photo: Supplied

Earlier this week, the company announced men-only performances of Richard III and The Taming of the Shrew in November productions.

It said the shows would highlight abuse of power in a number of Shakespeare's plays.

The decisions was criticised as tone deaf, considering the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

Lexie Matheson, honoured in 2016 for services to the arts and LGBTQI rights, has performed in previous pop-up shows and said she was surprised by to learn the all-male casts were being used to highlight movements like the #MeToo campaign against sexual harassment.

"This seems to fly in the face of that movement, even though it says the whole thing is being motivated by that," she said.

"To have an all-male cast of Shakespeare's play about misogyny where the whole tenor of the play [The Taming of the Shrew] is the battle of the sexes ... just seems bizarre."

Today the company's founder, Miles Gregory, issued an apology and said the company was looking at changes to the programming and casting.

But he would not confirm if it would include women in the shows.

Productions of Measure for Measure and Hamlet will cast women and men.

On wednesday, a spokesperson for Dr Gregory said the decision to use all-male casts adhered to tradition as only men acted during Shakespeare's time.

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