Category Archive: Speaking Dates

    Edgar, King Lear, Austria!

    To Austria, to play Edgar in King Lear in a castle for a couple of weeks…!

    I’ll post updates and photos from rehearsals and the show on my Twitter account…

    FREE TALK, Monday 5th July, 6.30pm

    In support of Chalk Farm Library, I’m giving a free talk on the 5th July in the heart of Primrose Hill:

    His talks are less of a talk and more of a performance – Ben makes sense of Shakespeare by putting him back into context. It includes an exploration of Elizabethan theatre and what a trip to a Shakespeare play in 1600 would be like, a master-class on the poetry style Shakespeare wrote in, and a look at Original Pronunciation (the accent Shakespeare would have spoken in). It’s relevant for all ages – younger people experiencing the Bard for the first time through to older audience members who love Shakespeare and want to learn something new.

    Monday 5th July, 6.30pm
    Chalk Farm Library
    Sharpleshall Street
    NW1 8YN

    More information can be found here…

    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

    JFS School

    Lovely day at JFS’ Reading Festival on Tuesday, speaking to their Year 10s.

    Back there today, to speak to their Year 12 & 13s.

    If you’d like me to come to speak at your school, do get in touch…

    Guildford, Thurs 17th June, 7pm: Shakespeare – Love, Sex & Comedy

    Tickets are selling fast for my talk this Thursday evening at Guildford’s Electric Theatre:

    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.
    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..

    Come one, come all! Booking and further details can be found here…

    Cafedirect Sponsors Toast


    I’m very pleased to announce that the very excellent Fairtrade company Cafedirect is sponsoring my talk at the Guardian Hay Literature Festival 2009.

    The talk is at 9am on Sunday 31st May, and Cafedirect will be kindly providing free coffee – and I think I may be able to rustle up some toast and jam, too…

    I’ll be giving a preview reading on the afternoon of Saturday 30th, and there’s a competition to win copies of Toast and more…

    Cafedirect are UK’s leading Fairtrade hot drinks company.
    As well as being 100% Fairtrade, Cafedirect invest over half of their profits into the businesses of their grower partners. This goes into training and development programmes so that they can become experts in their trade. This unique, direct and long-term relationship, with 39 partners across 13 countries, has resulted in a range of excellent quality and great tasting coffees, teas and hot chocolate.
    This has been recognised by numerous awarding bodies e.g. recently Cafedirect won eight Great Taste Awards – the highest number awarded to any hot beverage company by the Guild of Fine Foods!

    For more info please visit

    Poland – Gdansk, Warszawa, & Krakow

    Gearing up to head to Poland next week, giving three talks in three cities in three days, for Macmillan Poland, and their new Global course.

    More details can be found on Macmillan’s site here…

    British Psychological Society, Stamford Shakespeare Society, & Rebel Shakespeare Company!

    Apologies for the lateness in this post, but last week was somewhat frenetic.

    Following on from the great gig at Peter Parker’s Rock’n’Roll Club last Monday, I had been kindly invited to give the after-dinner speech at the British Psychological Society’s 2010 Conference in the ever-beautiful Stratford-upon-Avon. A terrific evening, with much fascinating post-dinner in-depth analysis of Life, the Universe and Everything Shakespeare with some of the delegates.

    Then on Friday I whisked myself over to Tolethorpe Hall – a beautiful manor near Stamford, with a wonderful open-air theatre where the Stamford Shakespeare Society perform, to speak at the Cambridge Welland Valley branch of the English Speaking Union for their annual Shakespeare Literary Lunch!

    Last, but by no means least, a wonderful day in London’s Regent’s Park yesterday, running a workshop on Acting Shakespeare for a terrific bunch of young American actors, all members of the Rebel Shakespeare Company, from Salem, MA.


    To Hell With The Lighthouse – 8pm tonight!

    Speaking tonight at Peter Parker’s Rock’n’Roll Club, 4 Denmark Street, with David Whitehouse, Joe Stretch & Dockers MC…

    More details here…

    Oxfam Bookshop, Bloomsbury — Thursday 25th March

    This Thursday, 6.30pm…

    Readings from Ben Crystal, Anne-Marie Fyffe, and Owen Sheers,
    compered by Rakesh Bhanot, Shop Events Manager. The shop will be open from 18:30. Event starts at 18:45. Limited refreshments will be served.

    12 Bloomsbury Street
    WC1B 3QA

    The shop can accommodate a maximum of 60 guests (30 seated and 30 standing) so early booking is advised. Please telephone or email to book:

    t 020 7637 4610