For dreams and nightmares, go to the Botanics

Get to the Bottom of it: an early production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Get to the Bottom of it: an early production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

A PERFORMANCE of one of Shakespeare’s plays is always an exciting occasion.

And this summer, as the westend welcomes back Bard in the Botanics, audiences can enjoy three plays over the next two months.

When the first plays were performed in the Botanic Gardens in 2002, little did any of the troupe think they would still be playing the westend beauty spot.

Artistic director Gordon Barr said: “When the idea for an outdoor Shakespeare season was mooted back in 2002, we could only dream that we would celebrate our tenth anniversary.

“It has been an amazing journey as we have introduced rarely-performed plays to Shakespeare aficionados and new audiences”.

First up is a favourite with theatre-goers – A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

This comedy topped a poll of productions people most wanted to see performed in the 2011 programme.

Our summer being what it is, this production will be staged under canvas.

And Gordon has taken a novel approach to the forest-based play by delving into the world of 1920s burlesque.

The second production is another firm favourite with fans of the Bard – Hamlet, with Paul Cunningham tackle the most famous role in acting role as the ill-fated prince of Denmark.

For the last play, Gordon Barr returns to the director’s role and heads into the Kibble Palace for one of Shakespeare’s most rarely staged plays – Pericles, Prince of Tyre.