Shakespeare in education is a passion and I try to visit schools wherever I go. 

I tailor each visit to the particular needs of each school, and can lead workshops and give talks on all aspects of Shakespeare’s works, for students and teachers. 

Having formed an original practices-based Shakespeare Ensemble, my main beat is taking the words off the page, onto the stage, and divining character direction from the words and context of the time, exploring Elizabethan theatrical practices, and seeing how they might inform 21st century understanding, production, and teaching of Shakespeare.

***If you’d like to book a School visit tailored to your students’ particular needs, click here to drop me a line***

“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 world for the last 20 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…



Some of the invitations into schools recently have been for a single talk or workshop, all the way to a full day visit, starting with a fun, interactive talk ending with a Q&A to the whole year, and then a number of sessions over the course of the day, playing games, and developing a piece with actors from my Ensemble. This can often involve arranging a public talk in the evening, too.  

The format and length of the visit (an hour, half a day, a full day) can be tailored to suit, and a talk can be adjusted to fit the texts the students are studying or working on.

There’s no limit to the size of audience for a talk, but I try not to have more than 14-20 participants in a professional workshop, so adhere to the same for younglings. When we need to cover more students, I’ll try to bring one of the international group of actors I work with who live near to you.

If there are too many students for a workshop, I’d suggest an interactive talk; I always get one or two (or all) the students up on their feet at some point, and there’s always time for plenty of questions.


Content-wise, I structure the talk and workshops according to the plays your students are studying – or the ones they’re about to study – and can give a more literary or theatrical slant, more analytical or more dramatic, as necessary.  

Ages & abilities

I work with primary school children all the way up to GCSE, A-Level and above. I’m a patron of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s Shakespeare Week, and with my therapy dog, Edie, frequently work with challenged and special education needs disabilities students.


Let’s make a plan!

If you let me know how many students we’d ideally be working with, and what outcomes you might be looking for (a pre-exam reviser, a general introduction, a refresher, etc) then I can get a clear costing to you.

A lot of info here, but I pride myself on offering a very bespoke service. If you’d like to chat any of this out on the phone and want to work out a plan together, I’d be happy to arrange a Skype meeting.

***If you’d like to book a School visit tailored to your students’ particular needs, click here to drop me a line***



“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…

“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

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, UCLA

***If you’d like to book a School visit tailored to your students’ particular needs, click here to drop me a line***



Every talk is delivered without notes, tailored to each particular venue and audience

All performances, talks and workshops include a Q&A in which participants can pose questions on any aspect of Shakespeare, not just the topic of the preceding session(s) 

For sessions involving extra actors, additional fees apply based on Equity rates, plus expenses

Package/honorarium rates can be negotiated

Commissions accepted

Have Bard, Will Travel