Category Archive: Shakespeare on Toast

    Houston, San Francisco, NYC, DC, Virginia – April Tour

    Here below, details of my book-talk & workshop tour around the USA

    April 2014

    4th-11th, University of Houston Downtown, Original Pronunciation (Workshop)
    10th, Shakespeare on Toast, Annunciation Orthodox School, 1pm
    San Francisco
    14th, Pacific Union College, Shakespeare’s Verse (Workshop)
    17th, Santa Clara University, Shakespeare’s Verse (Workshop), 2pm
    17th, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare’s Verse (Workshop), 7pm
    18th-19th, Shakespeare’s Ensemble (Workshop)
    23rd, NYPL, Shakespeare on Toast 1.15pm
    25th & 28th, Washington DC
    26th-27th, Original Practices talks and workshops, Blackfriars Playhouse, American Shakespeare Centre
    28th, Shakespeare’s Verse (Open Workshop)
    29th, Sayville School, Long Island
    30th, Emma Willard School, Troy
    1st May, Shakespeare’s Verse (Open Workshop)

    Shakespeare Week – The Telegraph

    Proud to be an ambassador for Shakespeare Week – here’s a piece I wrote for The Telegraph, with my top 5 ways to engage your kids in Shakespeare:

    The key fits the lock, the engine growls, the car roars into life, when acted. It’s what the words were written for.

    Shakespeare Week

    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…

    Shakespeare on Toast – Talk in NYC – November 12th 2012

    THRILLED to announce that Shakespeare on Toast will be available in all good bookshops – and as an eBook – in the United States from October 16th, 2012, published by Icon Books.

    In celebration, I’m joining forces with The Shakespeare Forum and will be giving a public talk at 8pmMonday 12th November at the über cool and über central-Manhattan Hartley House, 413 West 46th St (b/w 9th & 10th Ave), NY 10036.

    Shakespeare on Toast will be available at a discounted price, there’ll be wine, there’ll be cheese, there’ll be laughter, there’ll be tears…

    Actor and author Ben Crystal makes sense of Shakespeare by putting him back into context.

    First exploring what a trip to a Shakespearean Theatre in 1600 would be like…

    …an incredibly quick master-class on the poetry style Shakespeare wrote in that you’ll be talking about for days…

    …and a fascinating look at Original Pronunciation - the accent Shakespeare and his actors would have spoken in – and how it can shake loose a piece of Shakespeare…

    This evening is for anyone from 8-80: for apprentice bard-o-holics experiencing the Bard for the first time, for the Will-haters, through to audience members who love Shakespeare and want to learn something new…


    Head to The Shakespeare Forum or message their twitter feed for more.


    To request a review copy of Shakespeare on Toast or discuss interview or features, please contact

    Henry Lord, Publicity Manager at Icon Books

    Shakespeare on Toast – Coming to USA – October 16th 2012

    THRILLED to announce that Shakespeare on Toast will be available in all good bookshops – and as an eBook – in the United States from October 16th, 2012, published by Icon Books.

    In celebration, I’m joining forces with The Shakespeare Forum and will be giving a talk open to the public, on the evening of Monday 12th November (venue in Manhattan TBC).

    Further details of NYC-happenings will be posted shortly.


    To request a review copy or discuss interview or features, please contact

    Henry Lord, Publicity Manager at Icon Books

    Hamlet. In OP. In Nevada. This November… & a few other ‘bits’…

    Apologies for the lack of posting to this site in recent months…

    Unless you follow me on Twitter you may not know I was playing Demetrius in Iris Theatre’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream this last July, in the gardens of St Paul’s Church in Covent Garden, London.

    Nor that I curated a 70 minute CD of well-known – and not so well-known sonnets, speeches and scenes of Shakespeare for the British Library, the first of its kind spoken by professional actors, and out March 2012.

    I’m about to adapt Venus and Adonis for Roughhouse Theatre & Bath Theatre Royal… and very excitingly, will be beginning work on a new series of books I’ve been commissioned to write for Arden Shakespeare

    Nor indeed, will you know that I am about to leave for Nevada, USA, to start rehearsals to play Hamlet

    It’s going to be an Original Pronunciation production, the first for 400 years, and will open November 1st.

    I’ll be keeping an account and diary of the whole process – the first of which will be up very soon – and found via my Twitter feed…

    “Before you see the play, read Shakespeare on Toast”

    “Before you read the play, go and see it.

    Before you go and see it, read Shakespeare on Toast!”

    Stewart Ross, judge for the Society of Authors

    Ceremony for the Educational Writer of the Year Award 2010
    House of Commons, December 2010

    The Theatre, Shoreditch

    A very special day yesterday:

    After giving a talk and two workshops to the Year 10 students at Oundle School, I came back to London and headed to Shoreditch.

    A team from the Museum of London has found the remains of The Theatre, the playhouse built by James Burbage, and dismantled by his actor-son Richard, Will Shakespeare & their Company, one night in 1599. The materials were used to build the Globe playhouse across the river.

    The Tower Theatre Company have begun a fund-raising project to build a new theatre around the site, and protect the remains. They asked me to come and speak a sonnet there yesterday.

    I performed Sonnet 116 in OP on the Groundlings Gravel – one of very few actors to have spoken Shakespeare – and the first time that accent has been heard there – in 400 years.

    A breathtaking moment. I’m a very lucky fellow.

    Please head to the The Theatre’s website, and support the project.

    The Theatre, Shoreditch

    The Theatre, Shoreditch

    Video clips from the Poland Talks…

    From the series of talks I gave last week for Macmillan Poland

    Discussing the difference between performing Shakespeare in RP vs OP (Shakespeare’s accent); then performing Sonnet 116 in RP, and OP; and then reading from the opening chapter of Toast, Schwarzengger’s Hamlet

    Toast nominated for’s Falstaff Awards!

    The kind folks over at (who’re also responsible for the Shakespeare iPhone App) have had their annual Falstaff Awards, and Shakespeare on Toast was nominated for their Best Book or Publication category.

    Up against some steely competition, including Andrew Gurr’s Shakespeare’s Opposites and AD Cousins’ The Shakespeare Encyclopedia, I’m touched and honoured Toast was up for consideration.

    Full details of the other categories, including Jude Law’s Hamlet win for Best Principal Performance, can all be found here…