Arise, 
fair sun*

Wherefore art thou? James Rottger as Romeo and Stephanie McGregor as Juliet in the famous balcony scene.
Wherefore art thou? James Rottger as Romeo and Stephanie McGregor as Juliet in the famous balcony scene.

SHAKESPEARE and luscious greenery — the two seem to 
go hand in hand these days, even in a less than sunny Scotland.

July means one thing on the Glasgow calendar: Bard in the Botanics — and previous audiences will tell you that it takes a lot of rain to put these thespians off.

The annual festival often battles with the Glaswegian summer, moving indoors or cancelling at the last minute because of heavy rain, thunder — and let’s face it, snow wouldn’t surprise us these days.

But if you’re a fan of the Bard, or you’re feeling optomistic, this year’s line-up may be the best yet as the group tackles some of Shakespeare’s best-loved plays.

A hint: one is a tale of star-crossed lovers, consumed by an ancient feud brewing between families Montague and Capulet.

And if you haven’t got it yet (and you’re of a younger generation), a reminder of Leonardo DiCaprio in armour, Claire Danes in wings and a boisterous Mercutio in drag might ring a bell.

Romeo and Juliet is the second play tackled at the botanics, and it’s a brand new production told through the eyes of the very same younger generation, struggling to make sense of the cruel world created by their elders.

The action takes place under cover in the westend park, or in the Kibble Palace during heavy rain, until July 20 – at which point it transfers to Eastwood park for one night only (and for a cheaper ticket price too).

And if you miss the tragedy, there’s always the final offering back across the river, with As You Like It running from tomorrow (Friday) until July 28.

The comedy follows Rosalind and her companions, on a journey (both physical, and one of self-discovery) through the Forest of Arden and disguised as a boy.

The audience are on a journey with this one too, as it’s a promenade performance involving a walk around the gardens.

Let’s hope the Forest of Arden is sunnier than our own dear, green place.

Romeo and Juliet is on at the botanic gardens until July 20, 8pm (£15), and at Eastwood park on July 21, 7.30pm (£10). As You Like It runs at the westend park until July 28, 7.45pm (£15). Westend tickets from 429 0022, Eastwood tickets from 577 4970.

* Here’s hoping