Category Archive: Speaking Dates

    Oundle Festival of Literature, and Oxfam Bloomsbury

    Two talks up-coming over the next couple of weeks…

    15th, 7.30pm — St. Peter’s Church, Oundle, Oundle Festival of Literature
    25th, 6.30pmBloomsbury Oxfam, with the poets Owen Sheers & Anne-Marie Fyfe

    Come one, come all…!

    New talk – Bath Literature Festival – Sunday 28th Feb, 6.15pm

    Delivering a brand new talk at the Bath Literature Festival this Sunday:

    Shakespeare – Love, Sex & Comedy

    Diving through Shakespeare’s writings of love, sex and comedy, Ben Crystal (‘the Jamie Oliver of Shakespeare’ BBC Radio 5), rediscovers the Bard as master dramatist: a true man of the theatre, who had a terrific sense of what makes a captivating play.

    The theatres Shakespeare wrote for were two-way, dynamic – a shared experience with the audience, an afternoon’s journey of love, betrayal, death, lust, comedy and, sometimes, the odd song.

    Back by popular demand, this year the author of Shakespeare on Toast tackles Shakespeare’s attitude to love, sex and comedy, and finds a lot more tragedy than comedy, more betrayal than love, and more mystery than sex…

    Click here to book tickets…

    This talk is sponsored by Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights (the Independent Bookshop of the Year 2008)

    India, Shakespeare’s Globe, and Bath Lit Fest

    India was terrific, and many thanks indeed to the British Council, and all the wonderful actors I worked with in Kolkata and Pune.

    There’ll be videos uploaded soon of the workshops.

    Since I’ve been back, I’ve given a workshop to a terrific group of 120 students at Queen’s School in Chester, a talk to a terrific audience of the Fellows of the RSA last night at Shakespeare’s Globe, and am now gearing to give my new talk on Shakespeare: Love, Sex & Comedy at the Bath Literature Festival on the 28th February at 6.15pm.

    All this has meant the very popular London workshop, planned for the end of February, has had to be postponed. I’ve been in touch with those of you who had hoped to come, and there’ll be news of a rescheduled workshop up soon…

    India, London, Bath, Oundle & Poland – 2010!

    2010 is shaping up to be quite a Shakespeare-centric year…

    In January, courtesy of the British Council, I’ll be in India, running some Shakespeare workshops:

    11-15th – Kolkata
    18th-22nd – Pune

    Then at the end of February, there’ll be a week-long workshop in London for professional actors. If you’re interested in joining the London workshop, then click here and fill in the form.

    Then I return to the fabulous Bath Literature Festival on the 28th February.

    Then to the Oundle Festival of Literature on March 15th.

    Then Poland in May, for Macmillan:

    18th – Gdansk (home of the New Globe)
    19th – Warsaw
    20th – Cracow

    More details of all will be up soon!

    The Night Before Christmas…

    Slightly off-topic, but the performances begin today for the next play I’m acting in: a revival of Anthony Neilson’s The Night Before Christmas!

    A very fun, very silly, not-for-children 1hr comedy, playing at the Hen & Chickens theatre, 1st-19th December at 9.30pm…

    Click here for the Facebook Group Event Page, and you can follow me & how the show’s doing on Twitter

    Come one, come all…

    Sonnet talk at Shakespeare’s Globe

    Giving a talk on the Sonnets in Original Pronunciation – 7pm tonight with David Crystal, at Shakespeare’s Globe…

    Hip-hop Shakespeare workshop

    A couple of videos from the Shakespeare workshop I gave last week, for the Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company & BBC Blast‘s Othello Re-told project…

    Wells Festival of Literature, October 22nd, 12.30pm

    Last Toast talk for the time being, tomorrow (October 22nd) at the Wells Festival of Literature 12.30pm at the Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Somerset…

    Come one, come all… Follow this link for more details…

    Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company’s Othello Retold

    To Manchester to give a Shakespeare workshop for Akala’s Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company and BBC Blast‘s Othello Retold project…

    Following on…

    Dear followers of Toast

    I’m pleased to let you know Toast has become a great success! The paperback published in June and reprinted in September, the reviews glow, and there’s still one more lit-fest talk coming up – the Wells Festival of Literature on October 22nd!

    And while I’m still running around giving workshops and schools talks, I’ll be blogging a little less frequently on this site for the time being, as:

    – I’m producing the second show for my theatre company shiningman. The new play Gilbert is Dead by Robin French will be playing at one of London’s last Victorian music halls, Hoxton Hall, 4th-29th November.

    Follow the rehearsals, book – and win! – tickets, at and

    – I’ve just finished acting in a short film, Notes directed by James Sharpe, and I’ll be acting in a play later in December.

    More details of both will be at my main site,

    News of future Toast activity – and there looks to be plenty coming -including an India tour, a full Shakespeare production, and a possible TV programme – will all be posted here!