What's it like to speak Shakespeare around the globe? As we celebrate the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, UK actor, author and producer Ben Crystal relates what it's like to speak the work of a playwright who has contributed so many new words and phrases to the English language. You can also attend the English Language Council Lecture with Ben Crystal in London or watch it as a live-stream (both free registration Opens in a new tab or window.) on 12 February. The lecture is presented by the English-Speaking Union Opens in a new tab or window. and the British Council Opens in a new tab or window. in partnership. I'm a lucky man, but I can’t count the number of times I have been smiled at with toleration rather than agreement, after I’ve suggested Shakespeare's plays are manuals on how to perform, not books to be read. I experienced similar reactions in America in 2011. This was not new news to me - I've met with similar issues in Europe, and again across India, having been taken there by the British Council in 2010.
Shakespeare's Sonnets English: Understanding Shakespeare | Ben Crystal | Guardian Masterclasses William Shakespeare is considered by many to be the greatest playwright of all time. If you wish you knew a bit more about the Bard, or want to reawaken your passion for his plays and poems, don’t miss out on this fabulous masterclass with Ben Crystal. In the space of just two hours, you’ll receive fascinating insights into Shakespeare’s working processes – from how his famous sonnets were constructed to how his plays were rehearsed and performed. Plus, you’ll learn about some of the clues he left behind in his writing, including how he used cue-scripts and the ways he directed his actors. Ben is one of the world’s leading experts on Shakespeare, having founded the Passion in Practice theatre company and co-written many books on the subject. More about your teacher… Ben Crystal is an actor, producer and artistic director of Passion in Practice, which explores fresh approaches to acting in Shakespeare. Details
The Handmaid's Tale (wiki) The Handmaid's Tale won the 1985 Governor General's Award and the first Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1987; it was also nominated for the 1986 Nebula Award, the 1986 Booker Prize, and the 1987 Prometheus Award. It has been adapted for the cinema, radio, opera, and stage. Plot summary The Handmaid's Tale is set in the near future in the Republic of Gilead, a theocratic military dictatorship formed within the borders of what was formerly the United States of America. Beginning with a staged terrorist attack (blamed on Islamic extremist terrorists) that kills the President and most of Congress, a movement calling itself the "Sons of Jacob" launches a revolution and suspends the United States Constitution under the pretext of restoring order. The story is presented from the point of view of a woman called Offred (literally Of-Fred). The Commander is a high-ranking official in Gilead. After Offred's initial meeting with Nick, they begin to rendezvous more frequently. Characters
Ben Crystal, Author at Personal Liberty® Join the fun as Ben Crystal peers into the future to see how 2016 will shake out for some of the Great Eight’s favorite subjects. Presented in hi-def, FOR FREE! It’s The Great Eight, from the Personal Liberty Digest®! According to spokeshole John Kirby, the State Department had a terrific year, filled from Countering Violent Extremism Summits to San Bernardino, California, with “success.” It’s just that State Department officials define “success” somewhat differently than the rest of the species. In 2015, the Republicans stripped the ball from the Democrats and charged toward the wrong end zone. What do people on the naughty list want? ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and in the White House not a cretin was stirring; not even Sharpton, that louse. Who’s this Paul Ryan guy? Here at the Personal Liberty Digest®, we’re polling higher than Lindsay Graham! You had to know it was coming. The Democrats are on someone’s side; it’s just not yours. A Democratic whodunit? Obama plays to lose.
About the author | Springboard Shakespeare Ben Crystal Ben is an actor and writer. He studied English Language and Linguistics at Lancaster University before training at Drama Studio London. He has worked in TV, film and theatre, including at the reconstructed Shakespeare’s Globe, London, and has narrated for RNIB Talking Books, Channel 4 and the BBC. He co-wrote Shakespeare’s Words (Penguin 2002) and The Shakespeare Miscellany (Penguin 2005) with David Crystal, and his first solo book, Shakespeare on Toast – Getting a Taste for the Bard was published in 2008 (Icon). He regularly gives workshops on performing and speaking Shakespeare via Passion in Practice.
Shakespeare's Accent: How Did The Bard Really Sound? : Monkey See How were William Shakespeare's words pronounced more than 400 years ago? A new recording from the British Library aims to replicate the authentic accent of Shakespeare's day. Above, a depiction of the dramatist at work in his study, by A.H. toggle caption Edward Gooch/Getty Images How were William Shakespeare's words pronounced more than 400 years ago? Edward Gooch/Getty Images "To be or not to be" may be the question, but there's another question that's been nagging Shakespeare scholars for a long time: What did Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio, Portia or Puck really sound like when Shakespeare was first performed more than four centuries ago? The British Library has completed a new recording of 75 minutes of The Bard's most famous scenes, speeches and sonnets, all performed in the original pronunciation of Shakespeare's time. That accent sounds a little more Edinburgh — and sometimes even more Appalachia — than you might expect. Interview Highlights
Ben Crystal Ben Crystal (born 1977) is an English actor, author, and producer, best known for his work on performing and promoting William Shakespeare in "Original Pronunciation". Background and career The son of linguist David Crystal, Ben was born in Ascot, Berkshire, and grew up in Wokingham and Holyhead, North Wales. He studied English Language and Linguistics at Lancaster University between 1995 and 1998, before training as an actor between 1998 and 1999. After leaving drama school he studied methods from the theatre companies Complicite and Frantic Assembly, particularly under Annabel Arden and Monika Pagneux. In 1999 he began to write Shakespeare's Words: A Glossary and Language Companion, with his father, David Crystal, and has been acting and writing for the last ten years, most notably in 2003 playing a guest lead in the BBC1 drama series Holby City, for which he became fluent in British Sign Language, and for the 2006 summer season at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. Filmography