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WhatsOnStage.com – June 2009

“Reading Shakespeare is like following the clues in a Sherlock Holmes novel,” insists actor and linguist Ben Crystal in this digestible and informative how-to guide.

The Bard’s plays, he explains, are manuals for Elizabethan actors on how to perform the most engrossing of soap operas, with blood, murder, lust and love aplenty. You just have to learn to decipher them.

By analysing Shakespeare’s language (from his use of pronouns to his choice of insults), Crystal’s explanations fizz and sparkle with educated clarity and infectious enthusiasm. One for all ages.

Hear Crystal at the Globe on June 22, the Way With Words festival in Devon on July 15 and at Camp Bestival, Dorset on July 25.

Laura Silverman

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