STORIES OF hope will take centre stage as Glasgow’s Shakespeare festival returns thanks to fans who raised £13,000.

Bard in the Botanics was cancelled last year because of Covid, but a Crowdfunder launched by the company helped it to survive against the odds.

This summer, it will perform Twelfth Night and The Winter’s Tale to outdoor audiences.

Glasgow Times:

Gordon Barr, artistic director, said: “We are thrilled to be able to return with live performances in the Botanic Gardens this year.

“We are fortunate that the mainstage area allows for us to have a safe, socially-distanced audience and we are looking forward to welcoming people back.”

The pandemic forced the team to cancel its summer performances and Christmas pantomime.

Glasgow Times:

During lockdown, it launched a Bard in the Botanics podcast called Lend Us Your Ears, with a series of episodes looking at the whole process of creating a season, from choosing the plays to performing outdoors.

A Crowdfunder campaign raised £13,000 for the company.

“In the end it was our incredibly loyal and supportive audiences who came to our rescue – we were stunned and truly overwhelmed with the generous support our Crowdfunder campaign received,” said Gordon.

“It is no exaggeration to say that, without those donations, we wouldn’t be here today.”

The programme’s Kibble Palace performances will not go ahead because of social distance regulations.

Gordon said: “The health of our audiences is of paramount importance to us and we are working closely with Glasgow City Council to ensure all safety measures are place.

“The past year has been incredibly difficult for everyone.

“We have all been separated from loved ones, experienced loss and great hardship, and we wanted to programme two titles that explore some of those feelings.”

He added: “Twelfth Night and The Winter’s Tale are two of Shakespeare’s most beautiful plays.

“The characters go through some tough times, but both stories are infused with a sense of renewal – of hope for better times to come – and that feels so appropriate for this year.

“We hope these stories will give us a chance to come together to laugh a little, maybe even cry a little – to acknowledge some of what we’ve all experienced in that past year but ultimately to look to the future with a spirit of hope and renewal.”

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Bard in the Botanics was founded 20 years ago and since its first festival has staged in excess of 100 productions to audiences of more than 150,000.

Bard in the Botanics’ Lost and Found season runs from July 7 to August 28.

It features, Adam Donaldson, who played Henry V in 2019, CATS-Award winning actor, Nicole Cooper and Stephanie McGregor as part of an impressive ensemble cast which includes many long-standing members of the company.

All tickets must be booked in advance.