Ben Crystal
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Ben Crystal

Welcome to my site...

Personal information, and a downloadable copy of my photo and CV can be found in Key Info.

A selection of photographs of me in character and in person can be found in the Gallery, together with a showreel of my film work.

*You will need Apple's Quicktime Player to play the video.
Click here if you need to install this programme.

Media Bar
Ben Crystal Agents
Ben Crystal Acting Agent
Acting Agent
c/o Spotlight
7 Leicester Place
London, WC2H 7RJ

t: +44 20 7437 76315
f: +44 20 7437 5881

e: enquiries@spotlight.com

Ben Crystal Acting Agent
Ben Crystal Voice Agent
Voice Agent
c/o Jane Savage
Calypso Voices
25 Poland Street
London, W1V 3DB

t: +44 20 7734 6415
f: +44 20 7437 0410

e: calypso@calypsovoices.com
w: www.calypsovoices.com

Ben Crystal Voice Agent
Ben Crystal Literary Agent
Literary Agent
c/o Cathryn Summerhayes
William Morris Endeavour Entertainment
Centre Point
103 New Oxford Street
London WC1A 1DD

t: +44 20 7534 6800
f: +44 20 7534 6900

e: csummerhayes@wmeentertainment.com
w: www.wma.com

Ben Crystal Literary Agent
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
March 20th, 2014

Come & see my new talk next week - The Once & Future Shakespeare - 12pm, Thurs 26th March
As we approach Shakespeare's 450th birthday celebration, what do the next 50 years hold for his works?

Actor and producer Ben Crystal, author of Shakespeare on Toast, Springboard Shakespeare, and co-author of Shakespeare's Words and the Shakespeare's Miscellany) discusses why our current approach to Shakespeare's works may need to change, how we can learn from the practices of the past to see our way forward, and the dramatic effect these lessons may have on the existing canon.

Excerpts from Shakespeare will be performed by Ben and members of his Shakespeare ensemble. all trained in cue-script rehearsal techniques, where each is only given their lines, and the first encounter with one's fellow actors is on stage, in front of a paying audience...
 
Click here to book tickets

 
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
March 19th, 2014

Proud to be an ambassador for Shakespeare Week - here's a piece I wrote for The Telegraph, with my top 5 ways to engage your kids in Shakespeare:

Get younglings involved in Shakespeare

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
March 10th, 2014

Playing a father on a week's physical R&D on Zoe Cooper's Learning How To Swim, for Arch 468 & Oval Theatre.
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
February 21st, 2014

Coming to America...

In April, I will be heading to Houston, San Francisco, Chicago, and New York, Boston to give Shakespeare talks and workshops a la Passion in Practice.

More details soon...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
February 12th, 2014

Giving a talk on Shakespeare at the British Council, London, today.

A small blog ahead of it is here, What's it like to speak Shakespeare Around the Globe?.

And the talk will be available after the event here: Speaking (the Bright and Beautiful English of) Shakespeare.
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
February 10th, 2014

The Passion in Practice has been given a face-lift. Love to hear what you think.
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
February 4th, 2014

After the 24hr Pericles, January continued a pace, exploring a new rehearsal method of putting scenes of Shakespeare together with MA students from East 15 Drama School, a trip to Luxembourg to speak at two Lycees, two more Passion in Practice workshops and one for Akala's Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company.

Heading to Dillington House in Somerset on the 9th to give a talk, another at the British Council in London on the 12th (a LIVE web-cast can be seen here), and work on two more books, one out later this year, and another Shakespeare-related one out April 2015.

Heading to Houston and New York in April, with tentative dates in DC and Chicago, all to run workshops on Shakespeare.

Then, in London, if all goes according to plan, this summer in London, something wicked this way comes...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
January 6th, 2014

Happy New Year all!

Decided to kick off the New Year with a bang. Booked a Studio at Jerwood Space and brought my ensemble together for an experiment. If Shakespeare's actors after 15 years might have been able to put a show on in a few days, how far could we get in 24 hours?

Starting at 10am, we worked through the day using Cue-scripts, headed to the pub to sort out the costumes, props and spear-carrier roles, last minute additions on Sunday morning, and gave Pericles a staged reading at 3pm on Sunday.

Head to Passion in Practice to see the video footage.
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
November, 2013

October saw the Cheltenham Lit Fest, the Wells Lit Fest, the Gibraltar Lit Fest, and November brings Talks in Reading, a workshop in Northampton, and the beginning of plans for 2014...
Watch this space for some Shakespeare projects upcoming...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
September 21st, 2013

Time Magazine interviewed me last week about Shakespeare in Original Pronunciation. Here's a link to the piece:

Ben Crystal - Time Magazine

The workshop last weekend went terrific well. Head to Passion in Practice Cinematography to see the video footage.
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
September 13th, 2013

Hallo hallo, & welcome to all who may have stumbled here after seeing a video of me talking Shakespeare in Original Pronunciation recently.

It's been a stunning week hearing from people around the world, their thoughts on OP, & watching the video go viral from 344,000 views at the weekend to a little over 700,000 today. #SpreadingthewordoftheBard

Yesterday I posted three free tracks from the British Library CD I curated of Shakespeare in OP up at my Passion in Practice site, so if you'd like to hear some more OP, follow this link:

Original Pronunciation extracts at Passion in Practice

And do come and find me on Twitter, say hello & tell me what you think of all this Shakespearean goodness:

My Twitter feed

More anon,

Ben
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
September 3rd, 2013

Running a Shakespeare Workshop this September 14th. If you'd like to come and work with me and my ensemble, please head to Passion in Practice Workshops for more details.
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
June 9th, 2013

As a dear friend pointed out to me a couple of days ago, it's been a while since I updated this diary.

In the main, the last few months have been spent putting the final touches on my new series of books for Arden Shakespeare, Bloomsbury - Springboard Shakespeare - all four publish June 20th.
Springboard Shakespeare is the perfect tool for actors, students, theatre-goers, and anyone interested in understanding Shakespeare. Ben Crystal has created guides that are a valuable and accessible way to enjoy Shakespeare's genius.

Kenneth Branagh

See www.springboardshakespeare.com for extracts, and details of upcoming talks. There's a Twitter feed at @SpringboardShax too.

In the meantime, I'm heading back into the rehearsal room, and running a new Shakespeare workshop, along similar lines to my Passion in Practice Workshops.

I keep my Twitter feed more regularly updated, but will endeavour to write more here anon.

Thanks for visiting.
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
October 16th, 2012

Shakespeare on Toast: Getting a Taste for the Bard, publishes in the USA today!

I'll be in NYC joining forces with The Shakespeare Forum to give a FREE public talk in the evening of Monday 12th November. Venue TBC.

Follow my Twitter Feed for more further deets.
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
October 12th, 2012

Into the studios to record another series of Obla Air for the British Council LearnEnglishRadio.

See Voice Work for more details.
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
October 1st, 2012

The Tempest opens tonight at the Watermill Theatre, Newbury. I dramaturged and co-edited the script with director Paul Hart. It runs until November 3rd, and here are some of the reviews:

Sheer magic - British Theatre Guide

A magical experience - The Stage

The aisles are full of music - What's On Stage

Squeezes every ounce of magic from the Bard's fantastical text - The Good Review


Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
July 13th, 2012

The Shakespeare Sonnets iPad App came out a couple of weeks ago, to great acclaim:

Ben Crystal's reading of Sonnet 141 in Original Pronunciation is a treat - theverge.com

Ben Crystal's reading of Sonnet 141, delivered in Original Pronunciation, is a salutary reminder of the warmth and unpretentiousness of our national poet - Poor Rude Lines

A digital delight - Ben Crystal gives his approximation of Shakespeare's own pronunciation, rugged and lilting at once - The Independent

A wonderful app that will provide hours of enjoyment -
The Telegraph

An extraordindary achievement - The Times

Faber's app commissioner now wields as much power as the person who decides where to open a new Waitrose -
The Guardian

Just a wonderful iPad App... An absolute star for classrooms - iPadinsight.com

The App is produced by Illuminations Media, Faber and Faber, Arden Shakespeare and Touch Press, and features Sir Patrick Stewart, David Tennant, Fiona Shaw, Kim Cattrell, Dominic West, scholars James Shapiro and Katherine Duncan-Jones, and the poet Don Paterson, amongst many others.

I act Sonnet 141 - In faith, I do not love thee with mine eyes in Original Pronunciation - take a look at the video here:



And you can download the App now from iTunes UK or iTunes US
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
April 21st, 2012

A couple of photographs of me in character:

As Hamlet for the Nevada Repertory Company, 2011 - head to www.YearOfThePrince.com for more photos.

And as Edgar in King Lear, for Shakespeare in Styria, 2010.
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
April 19th, 2012

I acted in a 5-minute short film this last weekend, as part of the Sci-Fi London 48 Hour Film Challenge 2012.

Endless Departures is directed by James Sharpe (who I acted for in the short film Notes), and produced by Russell Noon at Morn Ray Films. It was beautifully shot by Peter Emery, and the lush music and sound design was put together by Rob Newman, who also did the score for Notes.

Please take a gander at it on YouTube, love to hear your comments:

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
March 19th, 2012

Today I recorded Sonnet 141 for an amazing forthcoming iPad App featuring Sir Patrick Stewart, David Tennant and Fiona Shaw.

Produced by Illuminations Media, Faber and Faber, Arden Shakespeare and Touch Press:

Faber and Faber, Touch Press, Illuminations and The Arden Shakespeare are delighted to announce that they are in the final stages of producing a spectacular edition of ShakespeareŐs Sonnets for the Apple iPad. The title features specially filmed performances of all 154 sonnets by a stellar cast that includes Fiona Shaw, Sir Patrick Stewart and David Tennant. It also features the complete Arden notes, providing unsurpassed commentary on the poems.

This digital edition follows Touch Press and FaberŐs iPad app The Waste Land that presents T. S. EliotŐs great poem in an innovative and widely praised interactive format.

Click here for the full Press Release
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
March 15th, 2012

The first ever CD of Shakespeare sonnets, speeches and scenes that I curated for the British Library launched yesterday. Click here for the full press release.

It's now available to buy, and the Live event will take place on May 4th, 2012, at the British Library.

The Telegraph ran a feature on it with some extracts to listen to, as did the New Statesman, and Mark Lawson interviewed me on BBC Radio 4's Frontrow last night (available to download as a podcast, dated 14th March 2012).
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
January 2nd, 2012

Back from Nevada & playing the lead in the Contemporary World Premiere of Hamlet. Photos of the production can now be seen here:
www.YearOfThePrince.com

About to finish curating a CD of extracts of Shakespeare in OP for the British Library, the first of its kind, which will be out in February 2012 on CD & download. See here for more details:
Shakespeare's Original Pronunciation

After 7 months of acting, three months of (mostly) writing...

Currently adapting Shakespeare's long poem Venus & Adonis for the Engage Programme out of Bath Theatre Royal, Bath Lit Festival 2012, & Roughhouse Theatre, which will be playing early March 2012.

And about to write a new series of books for Arden Shakespeare, coming out September 2012

Probably slightly more regular updates found via my Twitter feed.

Wishing each & all an adventurous new year...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
August 26th, 2011

Leaving for Nevada, to start rehearsals to play Hamlet. It's going to be an Original Pronunciation production, the first for 400 years, and will open November 1st.

I'll be keeping an account and diary of the whole process, the first of which will be up soon, and found via my http://www.twitter.com/bencrystal">Twitter feedÉ

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
June 10th, 2011

Started rehearsals for Iris Theatre's A Midsummer Night's Dream, playing Demetrius, July 2nd - August 5th, in the beautiful gardens of the Actor's Church in Covent Garden...

Click here for full performance dates and times.

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
May 16th, 2011

I've been asked to curate a CD of Shakespeare in Original Pronunciation for the British Library. BL OP CD coming soon, and workshops to be run...

See www.passioninpractice.com for more...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
April 10th, 2011

To the Sunday Times Oxford Literature Festival, to give a talk about Sorry, I'm British! in the lush Christchurch Library...

Click here for more details.

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
March 24th, 2011

To Nevada, to run a Shakespeare workshop...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
March 13th, 2011

My short film Notes, is screening tonight as part of Shortcutz, in Proud Galleries, Camden Town.

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
March 10th, 2011

A brand new development from the Liar's League - watch *and* listen to my story from last week's story-telling night, Ironworks by Malachi King

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
March 3rd, 2011

Heading to Keswick next week to give the first Sorry, I'm British! Lit Fest Talk.
Click here for more details.

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
February 14th, 2011

An excerpt of my review published today in The Atlantic Magazine:
I like adaptations of Shakespeare. He often adapted well-known stories and so the plots of his plays would have been very familiar to his audienceŃthe fall of Troy would have been a bedtime story, the legend of Romeo and Juliet a fairy tale, and A Midsummer's Night's Dream, with its forest-bound love story featuring a man turned into an ass by tricksy fairies, a pre-Brother's Grimm fable....
Gnomeo and Juliet has a stellar cast of voices, ninja gnomes, er, music by Elton John, and, um... I'm sorry. It's no good. I tried to like it, I really did. But it was, by turns, misogynistic, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, cheap, and dull, with jokes about women, gays, and foreigners that I thought we'd done with decades ago.

Click here to read the full review...


Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
January 29th, 2011

Reading a selection of Shakespeare's Sonnets at the British Library on February 2nd, and in conversation with the poet & musician Don Paterson, and the scholars Jonathan Bate & Eric Rasmussen...
More details can be found here...


Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
January 10th, 2011

I recorded Dulce et Decorum Est, The Tyger, The Ballad of Reading Gaol & excerpts of Tess and Alice, for the British Library's rather lush new App... Click to listen to Dulce... or The Tyger, and head here to download the App...


Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
December 5th, 2010

To Exeter & The Bike Shed Theatre, to act all week in The Night Before Christmas; playing in London back at the Hen & Chickens, 14/15th Dec, at 7.30pm...!


Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
December 2nd, 2010

Sorry, I'm British! - "this year's most charming stocking filler" - Independent on Sunday

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
November 28th, 2010

The short film I acted in, Notes, has been released online... Love to hear what you think... www.notesfilm.com

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
November 26th, 2010

Spent the last six days running a Process week on acting Shakespeare... Take a look... Passion in Practice

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
November 19th, 2010

Honoured beyond belief... Toast shortlisted for the Educational Writer of the Year 2010!


Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
October 1st, 2010

My new book, Sorry, I'm British!, Adam Russ, and featuring illustrations by Ed McLachlan, is published by OneWorld Publications today!

Click here for more details...

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
September 22nd, 2010

To the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts to MC the launch of Cambridge Jones Talking Pictures exhibition...

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
September 16th, 2010

To New York, for a couple of weeks of meetings, talks & workshops...

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
July, 2010

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...

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
June 7th, 2010

Shooting starts on a fantastic short(ish) film I'm acting in for Kevin Curtis (director of Hero). It's being shot by Adam Etherington, the DOP from James Sharpe's Notes.

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
June 6th, 2010

Proofs are in for my new book, Sorry, I'm British. Co-written with Adam Russ, it'll be out in October 2010, published by OneWorld Publications - it's looking beautiful...

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
June 4th, 2010

Acted in a new short film for Kevin Curtis (director of Hero), La Chasse - my first French-speaking role. Very nouvelle vague, slightly bonkers.

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
June 2nd, 2010

Day-trip to Bratislava, to record a voice-over for the Istropolitana Student Festival. You can watch it here...

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
May 17th, 2010

Spent the week giving three Shakespeare talks in three cities in three days, for Macmillan Poland, and their new Global course. Gdansk, Warszawa & Krakow, wonderful trip!

Video clips of the talks can be seen here:

Discussing the difference between performing Shakespeare in RP vs OP (Shakespeare's accent)

Performing Sonnet 116 in RP, and OP

And then (reading from the opening chapter of Shakespeare on Toast), Schwarzengger's Hamlet...

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
May 15th, 2010

Notes, the short film I acted in late last year, is finally finished, and looks fantastic! Shot by Adam Etherington, and directed by James Sharpe, there are stills of the film on both their sites.

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
April 2010

Giving a reading at the Liar's League, Tuesday April 13th, at 7.30pm, Downstairs at The Phoenix...

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
March 15th, 2010

A video clip of a play I was in, 5pm, No Particular Afternoon, now up here...

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
March 2nd, 2010

Voice-over clips from the Christmas '09 Zavvi TV advert campaign, now up here...

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
February, 2010

A month of running workshops, talks, and finishing my new book, Sorry, I'm British. Co-written with Adam Russ, it'll be out in October, published by OneWorld Publications.

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
January, 2010

A month in India, running workshops on Acting Shakespeare for professional actors, in Kolkata and Pune... Courtesy of the British Council.

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
December 9th, 2009

Reviews for the revival of Anthony Neilson's The Night Before Christmas that I'm acting in, have just come out:

'...funny, earthy and sprinkled with a little dose of magic' - The Stage

*** 'brisk & enjoyable' - Time Out

A very fun, very silly, not-for-children 1hr comedy, playing at the Hen & Chickens theatre until the 19th December, at 9.30pm...

Come one, come all...

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
December 1st, 2009

Performances begin today for the next play I'm acting in: a revival of Anthony Neilson's The Night Before Christmas!

A very fun, very silly, not-for-children 1hr comedy, playing at the Hen & Chickens theatre, 1st-19th December at 9.30pm...

Click here for the Facebook Group Event Page, and you can follow me and how the show's doing on Twitter...

Come one, come all...

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
November 12th, 2009

The play I've produced, Gilbert is Dead, has opened and been very well received!
'a fantastical flavour of Victoriana' (The Times)
'stylistic...alternating between parody and dark gothic tragedy' (Time Out)
'startling design in one of the most magical rediscovered venues in London, a perfect galleried music hall in a buzzing neighbourhood' (What's On Stage)

It's playing at one of London's last Victorian music halls, Hoxton Hall, 4th-29th November... Click here to see some production stills.
Come one, come all...

Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
October 21st, 2009

Toast talk at the Well's Festival of Literature 12.30pm tomorrow (October 22nd) at the Bishop's Palace, Wells, Somerset... Come one, come all...

Follow this link for more details...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
October 18th, 2009

Finishing a book I'm writing with Adam Russ for OneWorld (Autumn 2010), off to Manchester tomorrow to give a workshop for Akala's Hip-hop Shakespeare Company production Othello Retold, then back to London to carry on producing Gilbert is Dead and tie up the script Methuen are publishing for it, then to the Wells Festival of Literature on Thursday to give a talk on Toast.

Gilbert is Dead will be playing at one of London's last Victorian music halls, Hoxton Hall, 4th-29th November...

Then to the Hen & Chickens in December to act in a revival of Anthony Neilson's The Night Before Christmas...

Follow me on Twitter...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
October 5th, 2009

Rehearsals began today for the second show I'm producing for my theatre company shiningman. The new play Gilbert is Dead by Robin French will be playing at one of London's last Victorian music halls, Hoxton Hall, 4th-29th November. Follow the rehearsals, book - and win! - tickets, at www.gilbertisdead.co.uk and http://twitter.com/Gilbert_Shirley
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
September 8th, 2009

Narrated a new short story at the Liar's League @ The Wheatsheaf, this one a beautiful fairy tale with a twist, called The King's Computer, for this month's theme Decline and Fall.
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
September 2nd, 2009

Shooting Koroshiya Films' short film 'Notes'. Director James Sharpe's website here...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
August 11th, 2009

Narrated the trailer trash character in Anthony Malone's short story 'Michael Jackson Stole My Career', at the Liars League. Click here to listen.
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
July 24th, 2009

Recorded the lead role for The Chinese Room's new First Person computer game, Korsokovia. See here for more.
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
June 10th, 2009

You can listen to the clip of my interview this morning on Midweek for BBC Radio 4 by clicking here...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
June 9th, 2009

The paperback of Shakespeare on Toast came out last week, and tomorrow I'll be interviewed on Midweek, BBC Radio 4, by Libby Purves, with Philip Mould, Baluji Shrivastav, and Stefanie Marsh... The show will be repeated at 9.30pm...

Head to www.shakespeareontoast.com for more details...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
May 22nd, 2009

Paperback of Shakespeare on Toast publishes this week, and I'll be speaking in London at the Notting Hill Waterstones, and the Guardian Hay-on-Wye Literature Festival...

Head to www.shakespeareontoast.com for more details...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
May 19th, 2009

Performed as part of the the Liar's League @ Proud Galleries...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
April 23rd, 2009

Appearing on CNN's Connect the World With Becky Anderson in celebration ofShakespeare's birthday.

You can see the clip here - Happy Birthday Will!
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
February 27th, 2009

Toast and I featured in Katy Guest's The Week in Books in last Friday's Independent:
Crystal tries his damnedest as an actor, scholar and Shakespeare's biggest fan to demystify the Bard for doubting 21st-century theatre-phobics.
Click here for the article in full...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
February 26th, 2009
Clip added to the Voice Page, a new radio ad for Odeon Cinemas...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
February 7th, 2009

"When was the last time someone told you a story...?"

Performing for the Liar's League this Tuesday (Feb 10th), in their monthly evening of short story readings, this one Valentine-themed... See the Acting page for more...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
January 31st, 2009

The Guardian reviewed Shakespeare on Toast today, calling it "Excellent!" Click here for more...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
November 5th, 2008

Production and rehearsal stills of One Minute are now up at the Gallery...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
October 25th, 2008

I know things have been a little silent over this way, but that's mainly because there's been an awful lot going over at www.shakespeareontoast.com. Both aural and visual joys to be found, as more reviews for Toast and a few interviews are now up.

One Minute finished to great acclaim at the end of September, and I was straight into the season of the literature festival, which has taken me round the country and will to Europe...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
October 18th, 2008

Cold Snap, my latest performance for the Liar's League, is now up. Listen here...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
September 20th, 2008

The Times: Shakespeare on Toast is "a masterclass".
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
September 10th, 2008

Time Out: review for One Minute "Colin Tierney and Ben Crystal are excellent."
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
September 9th, 2008
Shakespeare on Toast has published, and is now available in all good bookshops! Head to www.shakespeareontoast.com for more...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
September 5th, 2008
One Minute has opened to tremendous notices! Head to www.oneminute2008.com for more...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
August 25th, 2008
Ten days until One Minute opens at the Courtyard Theatre, London, and Shakespeare on Toast publishes everywhere... See Toast or Min for more...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
August 15th, 2008
Appearing at the Edinburgh Literature Festival, to talk about my new book, Shakespeare on Toast, though the event is already sold out. See here for more...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
August 4th, 2008
Started rehearsals for the first ever revival of Simon Stephens' One Minute. A beautiful elegy to an 11 year old girl disappearing in the middle of this strange, wonderful,lonely, beautiful-horrible city of London. See the show's website www.oneminute2008.com for more...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
June 27th, 2008
Finished recording the unabridged audiobook of Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange. Horrowshow fun. A malenky clip is up here...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
June 1st, 2008
You Are Not Alone a rather chucklesome new 30 second short made with Kevin Curtis, now up on the Acting page...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
April 29th, 2008
Click and Hero the two short films I made with Kevin Curtis, are up at Cobravision - go search, watch, vote and comment here... They can also be seen on the Acting page...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
April 25th, 2008
Finished the sell-out run of 5pm, No Particular Afternoon, a devised piece with the physical theatre company Likely Story. I played Alex, a soldier returning from war suffering from PTSD. We used some of the Greek myths as starting points for the characters, and Alex was a modern version of Hercules, who, like the mythological fellow, kills his wife and daughter. Nice, light piece then. See the Gallery for pics...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
April 8th, 2008
Performed for the Liar's League for the second time, reading Peter LaChaise' Red. Clip here...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
April 1st, 2008
No fooling, the website for Shakespeare on Toast is now up and running...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
March 26th, 2008
For those of you that do, there's now a Facebook Group for Shakespeare on Toast - Getting a Taste for the Bard. Search, join, and whether you love Shakespeare or hate him, let me hear from you...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
March 13th, 2008
Apologies for the hiatus in updates, it's been a rather busy couple of months... See below...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
March 13th, 2008
The biggest news I have on offer - and much of the reason for the recent hibernation - is that my first solo book, Shakespeare on Toast - Getting a Taste for the Bard, will be published by the incredibly nice people at Icon Books in September. Take a look at the Writing page for more; follow the links there to pre-order it from Amazon, to hit the book's website (which is being written as I type), or to watch a video I made for MeetTheAuthor.com, which features ME talking about exactly why the book is brilliant, and why it's so different from every other book on Shakespeare...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
March 12th, 2008
Performed for the Liar's League monthly reading of new writing. Reading Emily Cleaver's The Frog. Clip here...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
March 11th, 2008
Narrated the upcoming (screening on the BBC in the early hours of April 1st / 8th) BBC Bitesize Key Stage 3 English revision programmes! I get to hold forth about Shakespeare AND teach the wee nippers. See the Voice page...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
March 5th, 2008
Worked with the hugely talented Kevin Curtis, making two short films, Click and Hero. See them on the Acting page...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
February 26th, 2008
Recorded a TV advert for The Guardian newspaper's Guide to DIY. Click here to have a listen...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
February 14th, 2008
Escaped the Valentine's madness, and find myself in Eindhoven, south Holland, to lecture student theatre technicians on how to get into Shakespeare... Obviously.
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
December 2007 - January 2008
Hibernating in writer's garrett...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
November 17th, 2007
Performed in two Beckett plays, Ohio Impromptu and Rough for Theatre 2, at the Capital Centre, Warwick, for Fail Better Productions. See Acting page...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
November 4th, 2007
Having recorded the narration in Amsterdam for a rather lush-looking new documentary, Cymbalom Legacy (directed by Mano Amani) will be shown as part of the 2nd London Gypsy Film Festival, at the Ritzy Picture House, on Nov 4th at 6.30pm. Click here to listen to a clip of the narration, or see Mano's website for a teaser...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
October 22nd 2007
A Speaking Shakespeare podcast, recorded after the 3rd British Shakespeare Association panel I spoke on (see below, August 31st), featuring a blast of Original Pronunciation from yours truly, is now online. Click here to listen...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
October 7th 2007
Gallows Hill Inn, a radio play from the stable of Bunbury Banter and featuring the vocal talents of yours truly as The Traveller, will be aired Sunday 7th on 91.8 Hayes FM, and streamed live here. Air time within the 11:30-12:00pm slot...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
September 25th 2007
Will Sutton, a very fine actor and equally fine friend, knows all 154 of Shakespeare's Sonnets off by heart. Check the Back To Aristotle entry on his also rather fine blog...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
September 16th 2007
The Real Godfather (see Voice page) airs tonight, BBC2 9pm.
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
September 14th 2007
Money, the first of the radio plays I recorded with Bunbury Banter, will be aired Sunday 16th on 91.8 Hayes FM, and streamed live here. Exact time tbc...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
August 31st 2007
Speaking at the British Shakespeare Association, on a panel on Speaking Shakespeare, together with RSC actor Patrice Naiambana, RSC actor Janet Dale, and the broadcaster & writer Paul Allen.
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
August 30th 2007
Recorded a series of radio plays, with Bunbury Banter, a new radio drama company. The specially commissioned scripts were a mix of new and old folk tales, and used Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber and Grimm's Fairy Tales as a starting point. Details of airplay and some clips will follow shortly...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
August 21st 2007
Narrated the All About Elephants audiobook for the children's book series My Animal Kingdom, voicing the Elephant too. See Voice Page. I love my job.
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
August 17th 2007
Delving into the underworld, recorded the voice-dub for Rome Duomo, an Italian agent who was working undercover in the bust of the The Real Godfather, due to be aired September on BBC2, narrated by Steven Mackintosh. Air date to follow...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
July 24th 2007
It's 2am, and I've spent the last couple of hours in a circus tent 3 hours north of Vienna, somewhere in the south-east of the Czech Republic, reciting Shakespeare Sonnets in English to a crowd of over 200 Czechs, most of whom were under the age of 25 and all completely rapt. Electric atmosphere... Picture of me looking thoughtful before launching into one of the Sonnets, now on the Gallery...
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
July 18th 2007
Preparing to go to the Czech Summer Film School Festival to perform a selection of Shakespeare’s sonnets, and introduce the spectacular film Korol Lir (King Lear), by Korintsev. Where on earth is Uherské Hradište??
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
June 23rd 2007
Finished the sell-out 3 week run of Caligula at the Union Theatre. See Gallery.
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal Diary
June 13th 2007
Caligula has opened with great success! Receiving Critics' Choice from Time Out, and great notices:
"Pride of place, though, has to be given to the interaction at the heart of the play between Caligula and his other-self, the poet Scipio (Ben Crystal), who watches over all. It is through the eyes of Scipio that we see Caligula's psychological torment, and Crystal's finely judged characterization manages to convey exactly the right mix of empathy and detachment. It is a part which requires a lot of reaction, and in his eyes we see Caligula's pain. The meeting of minds between these two is stunning. Great theatre."
posted on the New York Times website
Ben Crystal Diary
Ben Crystal