Whale Rider's Rawiri Paratene to star in Pop-up Globe's new season
Acclaimed Maori actor Rawiri Paratene has joined the cast of the Pop-up Globe's new season of Shakespeare.
Paratene is best known to Kiwi audienes for starring as Keisha Castle-Hughes' koro in Whale Rider, but he's also a veteran Shakespeare performer.
Paratene recently finished a two year tour of Hamlet that saw him visit 196 countries. He'll be playing the Duke of Exeter in the Pop-Up Globe's production of Henry V.
He said he was looking forward to working on the Globe's unique stage. The Pop-up Globe is a replica of the original second Globe Theatre, the venue many of Shakespeare's works were written for.
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"Working in that space is the most fantastic feeling for me," Paratene said. "It's a very intimate and very personal space. It's like being an orator on a marae where you have to reach everyone collectively as well as every individual. I feel really comfortable and at home in that environment."
The cast will also include Shortland Street heartthrob TeKohe Tuhaka, Zoolander 2 and Spartacus actor Antonio Te Maioha, and Edward Newborn from The Waterhorse.
Over 1200 applications were received from actors as far away as Russia and South America. These were eventually whittled down to about 30, representing New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, Norway, the U.S. and the United Kingdom.
Tickets are selling fast for the new season, which will see the Globe pop up in the garden at Ellerslie Racecourse in Auckland from February 23 to May 14.
More than 20,000 tickets have been sold already to the theatre's four plays: Much Ado About Nothing, Henry V, Othello, and As You Like It.
The Pop-up Globe's first season was a runaway success, selling out and extending its season twice. While tickets may be selling out, you can buy tickets to stand in the pit on the door for $10.
Tickets to the Pop-up Globe are on sale via Eventfinda and at popupglobe.co.nz.