Bard in the Botanics Announces 2024 Season

2024 Bard in the Botanics runs from 19 June – 27 July

By: Apr. 23, 2024
Bard in the Botanics Announces 2024 Season
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  • Award-winning actor, Nicole Cooper, returns as Hedda Gabler in new version by Kathy McKean
  • Premiere of new version of Jane Eyre by Jennifer Dick
  • Alan Steele reprises role as Falstaff in west of Scotland take on The Merry Wives of Windsor
  • New production of Measure for Measure with Stephanie McGregor as Isabella
  • 2024 Season is Gordon Barr's 21st as Artistic Director
  • 2024 Bard in the Botanics runs from 19 June – 27 July

Bard in the Botanics has announced details of its 2024 season, Artistic Director Gordon Barr's 21st at the helm of the acclaimed outdoor theatre festival. Shakespeare remains core to the progamme with a first staging of the The Merry Wives of Windsor and a new version of Measure for Measure. Meanwhile, continuing Bard's recent commitment to widening the repertoire, this year also sees versions of two great 19th century works featuring remarkable women: Jane Eyre and Hedda Gabler.

The 2024 season opens on 21 June (previews on 19 and 20 June) with a new mainstage version of the Charlotte Bronte classic novel Jane Eyre. Written and directed by Jennifer Dick, the production will feature Stephanie McGregor in the title role. Meanwhile, in the first Kibble Palace production of the season Gordon Barr will direct award-winning actor Nicole Cooper as Hedda Gabler in a new version by Kathy McKean. This is McKean's second specially-commissioned play to be staged by the festival following Medea, for which Bard won Best Female Performance (for Nicole Cooper) and Best Production Award in the 2022 Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland.

The second half of the season (12 - 27 July with previews on 11 July) sees Alan Steele reprise the role of Falstaff (following Henry IV last year) in the The Merry Wives of Wishaw, a West of Scotland take on the The Merry Wives of Windsor. Directed by Barr, this sparkling comedy, which makes its Bard debut this year, will be performed on the mainstage. The second show in the Kibble Palace will see Stephanie McGregor in the role of Isabella in a new production of Measure for Measure adapted and directed by Jennifer Dick.

"Our 2024 season features a mix of riotous comedy, heartfelt romance, compelling characters and powerful drama, all contributing to a fascinating look at how the world sees women and how they react to that world," says Gordon Barr. "I'm delighted to be announcing another season of work that sees Shakespeare sit alongside the best of classical drama and literature."


"Jane Eyre will be the first adaptation of a novel to be staged on our outdoor stage. After Jennifer Dick did such a brilliant job with Jekyll & Hyde in 2023, I can't wait to see how she brings Jane Eyre to life for audiences this summer."


"We are excited to be working with Kathy McKean following her remarkable adaptation of Medea. Once again, the lead in the production will be taken by the award-winning Nicole Cooper. Working with Kathy and Nicole on Medea was one of the most rewarding experiences of my entire career. I'm so excited to be reuniting with them both to get to grips with Hedda Gabler."

"It's great that in our third decade of work, we can still bring audiences a Shakespeare title that they haven't seen before. This will be the first time that Bard in the Botanics has staged The Merry Wives of Windsor or, as it is in this version, The Merry Wives of Wishaw once again offering a platform to the wonderful comic talent of Alan Steele as the iconic Falstaff."

"Measure for Measure is a play that, sadly, never feels anything other than utterly contemporary and as society continue to fight against men's abuse of their power over women, it remains frighteningly relevant to today – and a fitting addition to a season exploring the experience of women."

Tickets for Bard in the Botanics 2024 season will go on sale on Monday 29 April and can be booked via:


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