Original Pronunciation // Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe // July 2014

    Back from a Passion in Practice workshop and Shakespeare on Toast Schools Workshops and a Springboard Shakespeare book tour around the USA. Coached a Company in their Original Pronunciation in Houston, worked with the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, colleges in northern and central California, members of the Bristol Faire Ensemble in Chicago, visited the Folger Library in DC, gave a talk and a workshop at the Blackfriars Theatre in Staunton, VA, and spent 10 days in NYC, running workshops and giving talks in celebration of our Bard’s 450th.

    A terrific month.

    Back to the UK, to finish work on the new Oxford Illustrated Dictionary of Shakespeare for OUP that lands April 2015, that I’m co-writing with my father, and a book on accents for Macmillan called You Say Potato, that he’s writing with me, which will land October 2014.

    Meanwhile, am getting ready to direct The Winter’s Tale in June, and preparing the Original Pronunciation events for the Shakespeare’s Globe this July.

    My Shakespeare Ensemble, Dad and I will be presenting three events in the new Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. An evening of Prose and Poetry on July 10th, an evening of Songs and Sonnets on July 17th, to include new scorings of Shakespeare’s songs composed by Sam Amidon, played live by The Askew Sisters, ending with a cue-script rehearsed, staged reading by candle-light of Macbeth on July 20th – all to be heard in the recreation of the accent Shakespeare’s Company spoke in.

    You can hear the accent here: Shakespeare’s Original Pronunciation

    OP at Shakespeare’s Globe for OU

    Spent a fine morning being filmed running around the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre with Dad: he explaining the origins of the Original Pronunciation experiments, me acting some examples.

    Performed excerpts from Henry V, Romeo & Juliet, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and all of Sonnet 116 – which sounds SO different in Shakespeare’s accent – then were interviewed about our work together.

    All for an Open University film. Lovely to work with Dad again. Lovely to be back in that terrific space.

    Now to Poland to give a series of Shakespeare talks, Ash Cloud permitting… (has it really been capitalised?)

    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…

    Story of London Talk @ Shakespeare’s Globe – 6pm Mon 22nd June

    As part of the Story of London Festival, Dad and I will be giving a talk at Shakespeare’s Globe on Monday 22nd June at 6pm.

    The Sounds of the Streets and Stage in Shakespearean London:

    David and Ben Crystal take an entertaining look at how English was spoken in 1600 London. What was distinctive about the language, and how did the diversity of London at that time impact on evolution of language? This event will explore the slang, insults and accents of Shakespeare’s London.

    See The Story of London or Shakespeare’s Globe site for more…

    Upcoming Events…

    Gearing up for the launch of the paperback edition of Toast next week, here’s a look at where and when I’ll be in the coming weeks…

    27th May, 7pmInternational House, Covent Garden, London

    31st May, 9amHay-on-Wye Literary Festival – It may be early morning, but Toast will be served, and coffee will be provided by Cafedirect!

    4th June, 7pmNotting Hill Waterstones

    10th June, 9amBBC Radio 4, Midweek with Libby Purves

    11th June, 10amBBC Radio Bristol, Graham Torrington’s show

    11th June, 7pmBrendan Books, Old Brewery Buildings, Bath Place, Taunton, Somerset – Brendan Books was shortlisted for the Independent Bookshop Of The Year…

    18th June, 11.05amBBC Radio Somerset, with Elise Rayner

    19th June, 9.15pmBBC Radio 3, The Verb, with Ian McMillan

    22nd June, 6pmShakespeare’s Globe, Nancy Knowles Lecture Theatre, ‘Speaking English in Shakespearean London’ with David Crystal

    25th June, 7pmSchool of Life, Show and Tell with Damian Barr. Also with Laura Lockington and David Nicholls…

    15th July, 7.30pmWays With Words, Dartington Hall, Devon

    << See more at the Book Festivals Dates Page

    “Excellent”– The Guardian

    I have been given back my book. My father has given up his new-found acting career. All is once more right with the world of Toast.

    “Crystal ends up admirably succeeding in his ambition to provide a toolbox for getting to grips with Shakespeare’s plays” — The Guardian

    Toast is reviewed in today’s The Guardian:

    Crystal, who is also an actor, paints in a lot of useful context about Elizabethan playhouses, explains very well the business of textual comparison… and conducts an excellent technical discussion of metre, which culminates in a genuinely thrilling dramatic exegesis of an extract from Macbeth… There are gems of close reading and theatrically focused attention throughout.

    However, the authorship of this Shakespearian Toolbox has been ascribed to my father, the linguist, David Crystal.

    He was thrilled to discover the audition offers flooding in for him this morning, while I look forward to Routledge publishing my autobiography this May.

    For the review in full, click here

    Welcome to Shakespeare on Toast – Getting a Taste for the Bard

    Hi, and welcome to the Shakespeare on Toast website.

    I’ve set this site up as a base for my new book Shakespeare on Toast – Getting a Taste for the Bard, published by Icon Books in September 2008.

    In times to come, there’ll be details of literary festival talks, reviews, and anything else interesting I can think of.

    There’s also a Facebook group that’s been set up, for those of you that do, and a space there for a discussion forum.

    Meet the AuthorIf you’d like to hear more about the book, and exactly why it’s different from all the other books on Shakespeare, click here for the video I recorded for Meet the Author, or you can click on the Amazon link over to the right under Toast Links, to pre-order the book.

    Thanks for visiting…