Anthony Harper acquaints schoolchildren with Shakespeare

by Sol Dolor13 Mar 2017
Hundreds of children from schools across New Zealand have been given the opportunity to see live performances of Shakespeare masterpieces at the Pop-up Globe, all thanks to a top firm.

About 250 schoolchildren from nine schools from Auckland, Canterbury, the Far North, Hamilton and Wellington – many decide 1 schools, were provided tickets by Anthony Harper to see performances at the unique playhouse. The firm is the foundation sponsor of the Pop-up Globe.

“Shakespeare wrote his plays for ordinary people, not an elite – and we want to share the Pop-up Globe experience with as many people as we can. We hope it’s a life-changing experience,” said Dr Miles Gregory, Pop-up Globe artistic director and founder.

He said that for many of the young people in attendance, it was their first time to experience a Shakespeare performance. And what better way to be acquainted with Shakespeare in New Zealand than at the world’s first full-scale replica of the second Globe Theater?

“The truth is that reading Shakespeare or teaching Shakespeare by asking students to read it is like asking students to appreciate Mozart by looking at one of his scores, not by hearing the music,” Gregory said.

Gregory said that the audiences’ joy was evident for anyone who worked on the project or attended one of the school matinees. He also believes that Shakespeare is not only entertainment but also a great learning experience.

“You can hear it from 50 yards away. The walls of the theatre vibrate with the noise. It is like a football stadium, not a theatre. That's a wonderful thing,” he said.

“Shakespeare creates community cohesion when a whole generation has the same experience. Shakespeare is a unifying force for good in the world, and I believe that exposure to Shakespeare's plays helps us as people make better decisions about our own lives because in Shakespeare's work, the full spectrum of humanity is explored. Watching his plays and understanding them allows us to realise and accept that human nature doesn't change and that there is a great thread of shared humanity that is common to us all regardless of our background or origin.”

According to Anthony Harper managing partner Malcolm Hurley, more than 100,000 people had the opportunity to attend a performance that the firm sponsored both in Auckland and Christchurch last year.

“We were thrilled that over 20,000 school children attended Pop-up Globe during the 2016 season,” he said.

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