JENNIFER Dick was part of the very first Bard in the Botanics, Glasgow’s celebrated outdoor Shakespeare festival, playing Caliban in The Tempest.

More than 20 years on, she has the role of Ariel in the same play.

“There is something about the full circle about that, you’re right,” she smiles.

“I have been very lucky, to have been with the company ever since my first ever season. I have acted and directed, and am now associate director of the festival."

Glasgow Times:

She grins: "I’d like to say yes, that was always the plan, but I didn’t even study Shakespeare at school. So I had no understanding, academically, of the plays and I only discovered them when I saw them performed.”

Jennifer adds: “I’m quite glad about that, in a way. I find the plays endlessly interesting, because of the richness of the writing, the way they stand up to reinvention, the universal humanity in them. Maybe I wouldn’t have felt like that if I had come to them in a different way.”

Originally from Dundee, Jennifer moved to Glasgow in 2000 and never left.

“I love Glasgow,” she says.

“A friend once said to me that if you fall over on the street in London, people will just walk on by.

“If you fall over in Glasgow people will help you. They’ll laugh at you first, but they will always help you up. It's such a friendly and exciting city."

Glasgow Times:

Performing is in her blood, she adds. “My parents met at drama school,” she explains.

“My dad went on to be a voiceover artist, and they both instilled in me a love of acting.

“I was 17 when I first directed a play – I wanted to add another string to my bow because everyone knows acting is such an insecure profession.”

The 2022 season of Bard in the Botanics kicks off on June 22 and runs until July 30. In addition to acting in The Tempest, Jennifer is directing a new version of evergreen favourite A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the first time the festival has staged it in more than a decade.

“After all the cancellations of 2020 and the restrictions of 2021, it’s so exciting to be back at full steam,” says Jennifer, with relief.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream is so full of joy, and I think what our version is about is that idea of giving yourself permission to take up space in the world.

"There is a lot going on in the world at the moment, much of it deeply upsetting, so if we can make people smile and feel better about themselves, then that’s a step towards people feeling capable of making the world a better place.”

She laughs. “That is a lofty aim, of course, but I believe it is true.”

The opening show in the Kibble Palace (June 23 to July 9) is the festival’s first foray into Greek tragedy, and the culmination of three years’ planning.

Gordon Barr will direct a new version of Euripides’ Medea written by playwright Kathy McKean and devised specifically for acclaimed actor Nicole Cooper.

Gordon explains: “We are delighted to be returning to The Kibble Palace for this year’s season with productions that showcase the dramatic talent of one of Bard’s long-time core artists, Nicole Cooper.

“Working with Kathy McKean, whose version of Medea has been conceived not only for the Kibble, but especially for Nicole, is a tremendous pleasure.”

The second half of the season (July 14 to 30) sees Cooper make her directorial debut with a new production of The Tempest staged in the Kibble Palace and featuring Alan Steele as Prospero.

A new production of Gordon Barr’s ground-breaking take on Much Ado About Nothing, the original rom-com with a twist, completes the 2022 line-up.

Jennifer adds: “Nicole’s version of The Tempest looks at Prospero and Miranda’s relationship when they are older, away from the island, and he is giving up his magic.

"It is a really beautiful piece. It’s about coming to terms with age, and how people deal with the emotions surrounding parents getting older, starting to lose their faculties.

“It’s very emotional and I think it will resonate with many people.”

Tickets for Bard in the Botanics Antic Fables & Fairy Toys season go on sale soon and will be available via