Gordon Barr on Bard in the Botanics 2012

The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet and As You Like It to be staged in Glasgow's Botanic Gardens

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Gordon Barr on Bard in the Botanics 2012

Stephen Clyde in The Tempest

This season, for us as we move into our second decade, is all about discovery, exploration and new horizons so we were looking for plays that tied in to those themes. The link to The Tempest is fairly clear but As You Like It covers some similar ground, in that the characters go on a physical journey in to the Forest of Arden – a new world for them – and this journey and the experiences they have in the forest allows them to discover things about themselves – their enforced exile from the court to the forest actually opens up a whole new horizon of possibilities for the characters.

Romeo and Juliet, then, clearly does not have any physical journey in its story but so many of the characters we meet in the play, especially the young lovers themselves, are at an age where they’re on the cusp of a brave new world – the adult world, which includes love and marriage but also death and responsibility. The emotional journey they go on certainly opens up new horizons equal to any physical journey in The Tempest or As You Like It.

Also, Romeo and Juliet will be heading out on the road this summer – not for a particularly extensive tour, but we are going to be offering some performances in communities across Glasgow that we haven’t engaged with before. It’s part of our desire, as a company, to bring Shakespeare’s work to as wide a range of audiences as possible and so the additional community shows are a ‘brave new world’ for us, since this is the first time we’re doing a project like this, but will also hopefully open up a brave new world of performance and theatre-going for some new audiences.

Bard in the Botanics, Glasgow Botanic Gardens, Wed 20 Jun–Sat 7 Jul.

The Tempest

Journey to Prospero's enchanted isle for the first of this year's Bard in the Botanics adventures, which are all linked by the theme of 'Brave New Worlds'. Directed by Jennifer Dick. Part of the West End Festival.

Romeo & Juliet

Shakespeare's most famous love story is retold by the Bard in the Botanics team.

As You Like It

An enjoyable woodland comedy completes the Bard in the Botanics programme for 2012, but not one without some good old-fashioned heartache, as Rosalind and Orlando chase each other around the Forest of Arden and learn a few life lessons along the way.

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