***If you’d like to book a School visit, please click here to contact us***

 

“We really can’t thank you enough for how you opened the world of Shakespeare to the students – there has been such a positive buzz from the classes – Year 9 ASKED!! to write reviews of their session for homework! And even more children have come to ask for copies of your book. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful – what a memory!” Ormiston Bushfield Academy

 

“He is a very kind and simple person with a good sense of humour.   He is an excellent actor and teacher at the same time.  Thanks to him, we managed to analyse in more depth and detail and  understand  the play  ‘Julius Caesar’ better.” Year 9 student, Lycée International, St Germain-en-Laye

 

“Ben Crystal’s workshop was really interesting as I learned many things.  I don’t like Shakespeare very much because I find the language difficult, but Ben totally changed this!  It felt like he was teaching us from the heart, and that really clarified things.  To sum it up, it was brilliant!” Year 9 student, Lycée International, St Germain-en-Laye

 

I’ve been giving workshops and talks in schools around the UK and Europe for the last ten years.


The genesis for Shakespeare on Toast was a workshop I continue to give on Macbeth; I greatly enjoy teaching (and learning!) from the English Lit, Lang, Drama students and actors I’m asked to work with, and intend to continue to spread the word of the Bard…

 

 

Format
The format and length of session (hour, half a day, full day) can be tailored to suit, and the talk can be adjusted to fit the texts the students are studying or working on. I always get one or two (or all) the students up on their feet at some point, and there’s always time for questions.

Schools
I usually work with GCSE, A-Level and above, but in 2009 I had the opportunity to work with 100 Year 7 students at once, which was great fun. Giving their first introduction to Shakespeare, getting them to build the Globe Theatre with their arms outstretched and act out some Shakespeare for the first time in their lives. I’ve also given workshops at Pendragon School, a special needs school in South London (see the Interviews page for an article the South London Press ran).

 

***If you’d like to book a School visit, please click here to contact us***

 

“Highly Recommended” — Shakespeare on Toast reviewed in The School Librarian

Witty, entertaining, highly engaging: Ben Crystal made
Shakespeare alive and we all became his audience in the Globe. The
session was too short: we want more. — Susi Devlin, Sydenham High School, London

“It’s a pleasure to promote this introduction to Shakespeare by Ben Crystal, the actor and writer who also does workshops for schools.”
Carel Press – Exciting Resources for Education

“Many girls I know didn’t look at Shakespeare and after your visit you have inspired them to perform even one word dramatically! You got them to play with and act out words. You got girls to be creative and step out of their comfort zone, whilst teaching them about Shakespeare.” – Year 7 representative, Hayesfield Girls’ School, Bath

Giving a workshop at the National Theatre, for the William Poel Festival

“I just don’t want anybody to not have the chance to appreciate Shakespeare,” Ben said, making some of us wish he would give up writing to become a full time lecturer…
EssentialWriters.com

“Ben’s knowledge comes across naturally and without pretension… Certainly most teachers at GCSE and A level (or equivalent) will find it useful.” — Shakespeare on Toast reviewed in The National Association of Teaching English

Active without dumbing down, Ben’s workshops at our school soon had students comfortable with Shakespeare’s language and iambic pentameter. They quickly got the hang of using the rhythm to work out what they could be doing as actors to dramatise the scene, because Ben has the gift of explaining complex ideas succinctly.

He makes the sessions fun, getting students actively involved, guiding their interpretations by helping them ‘put on the Elizabethan hat’. I was amazed by how rapidly students progressed from stumbling over a reading of a scene to performances that pulsed with tension, fear and suppressed excitement – they really brought the scenes alive, using the rhythm as the ‘actors manual’ Shakespeare intended. A real education! — Edna Hobbs, Lytchett Minster School, Dorset

From a sonnet workshop given to UCLA students, August 2009:

We began by discussing iambic pentameter — Crystal explained that it is not simply a metrical system, but indeed a tool Shakespeare uses to thread silent stage directions throughout his works. Using a few lines from Act 2, Scene 2 of Macbeth, and with a couple of volunteers (Tommy and Erin, two of the other bloggers), Crystal showed how actors can interpret the unwritten cues.
Kelsey Sharpe

***If you’d like to book a School visit, please click here to contact us***