Category Archive: General Shakespeare

    Time Magazine – 20/9/13

    Time Magazine interviewed me last week about Shakespeare in Original Pronunciation. Here’s a link to the piece:

    Ben Crystal – Time Magazine

    The Passion in Practice Workshop last weekend went terrific well. Do head to Passion in Practice Cinematography to see the video footage.

    Toast for 99p – Amazon’s Daily Kindle Deal – 24th Jan ’13

    For 23 hours and 59 minutes, Shakespeare on Toast is’s Daily Kindle Deal:

    If you thought Shakespeare was elitist and difficult to read, Ben Crystal will show you a new side, in his delightful, witty romp through the bard’s life and works. An actor at Shakespeare’s Globe, Crystal offers the reader a friendly masterclass with this entertaining introduction to Shakespeare’s most brilliant plays.

    Get your slice o Toast on Kindle for £0.99 (81% off) until 23:59 on 24/1…

    Review of Gnomeo & Juliet for The Atlantic Magazine

    An excerpt of my review published today in The Atlantic Magazine:

    I like adaptations of Shakespeare. He often adapted well-known stories and so the plots of his plays would have been very familiar to his audience—the fall of Troy would have been a bedtime story, the legend of Romeo and Juliet a fairy tale, and A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, with its forest-bound love story featuring a man turned into an ass by tricksy fairies, a pre-Brother’s Grimm fable….

    Gnomeo and Juliet has a stellar cast of voices, ninja gnomes, er, music by Elton John, and, um… I’m sorry. It’s no good. I tried to like it, I really did. But it was, by turns, misogynistic, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, cheap, and dull, with jokes about women, gays, and foreigners that I thought we’d done with decades ago.

    Click here to read the full review…

    Happy Birthday Will!

    In celebration of Shakespeare’s birthday, there are a whole bunch of events and performances across the country today.

    They can all be found at, a project which says:

    The idea is for everyone throughout the United Kingdom to have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to have fun with Shakespeare

    Great stuff. I’m a supporter of the organisation, if there’s an event near you today, pop along…

    Terrific news: “Pupils will act to learn Shakespeare”

    This is wonderful news:

    Schoolchildren are to learn Shakespeare by acting out the plays instead of reading them at their desks… Written and oral assessments developed alongside the lessons will show how well students have understood the works.

    Full article here…

    Shakespeare Pro App – on iTunes now!

    The Shakespeare Pro App is now on iTunes – and includes mine and my father’s Shakespeare’s Words Glossary…

    The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

    Every difficult word defined

    Tales from Shakespeare – A series of 20 short versions of Shakespeare’s plays aimed at a younger audience.

    Random Quotes – simply shake your device for a random quote.

    And much more!

    Click here for more on the App’s features…

    Competition ends tomorrow!

    The Cafédirect competition to WIN TICKETS to see a performance at Shakespeare’s Globe AND a signed copy of Shakespeare on Toast ends tomorrow (Tues 30th) at midday!

    Click here to find details on how to enter…

    Win tickets to the Globe Theatre!

    After their sponsorship of my talk at the Hay Festival a few weeks ago, Cafédirect, the Globe Theatre and Shakespeare on Toast are teaming up!

    All Friends of Cafédirect have the chance to WIN TICKETS to see Troilus & Cressida at Shakespeare’s Globe in London, AND a signed copy of Shakespeare on Toast!

    In order to enter the competition simply become a Friend of Cafédirect by clicking here:… and then get snapping…*

    It’s free to become a Friend of Cafédirect, and from what I’ve seen, Troilus at the Globe will be quite an event…

    Competition closes midday June 30th 2009.

    *the Cafédirect blog will explain all…

    Toast on The Book Depository’s Fast Movers list

    Up a considerable 3,345% (!), Shakespeare on Toast is no.5 today in The Book Depository‘s Fast Mover’s list..

    Click here to see the list…

    Toast #1 in Poetry, Drama & Criticism genre on Amazon

    Toast has jumped to #257 in the Amazon sales rank, and is

    #1 in Books > Poetry, Drama & Criticism > History & Criticism > Drama & Dramatists > 16th to 18th Centuries
    #1 in Books > Poetry, Drama & Criticism > Shakespeare, William > Criticism & Study Aids
    #2 in Books > Study Books > Undergraduate & Postgraduate > Arts & Humanities > Literature & Drama

    Click here to grab a slice for yourself, and Buy The Book…