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Saturday 30th June

Shakespeare on Toast

The Roebuck Inn
Directions to The Roebuck Inn, Laughton

This is less of a talk and more of a performance given by actor, author, and producer Ben Crystal and folk singer Hazel Askew.


Actor, author, and producer Ben Crystal puts Shakespeare back into context, exploring 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). 


This is 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.

Ben Crystal

Ben Crystal

Ben is an actor, author, producer, and explorer in original practices of Shakespeare rehearsal and production. 


He performed the title role in the world contemporary premier of Hamlet in Original Pronunciation, and in 2012 was the curator and creative director for a CD of Shakespeare in Original Pronunciation for the British Library.


He has led original practice explorations for Shakespeare’s Globe, the British Library, and the British Council, and staged Pericles for the conductor Daniel Harding’s Interplay Festival at the Berwaldhallen in Stockholm. Pericles: Recomposed was raised in three days, underscored by Max Richter’s Four Seasons: Recomposed, played live by the Trondheim Soloists, led by the violinist Daniel Hope.

His first solo book, Shakespeare on Toast – Getting a Taste for the Bard was shortlisted for the 2010 Educational Writer of the Year Award.  He wrote Springboard Shakespeare, a quartet series of introductions, for Arden Shakespeare / Bloomsbury (2013) and An Illustrated Dictionary of Shakespeare was published with OUP (2015, writing again with his father) and was shortlisted for the 2016 Educational Writer of the Year Award.


Hazel Askew is a London based singer, musician and composer. She has worked as a performer on the folk scene for many years, most notably with BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominated vocal trio Lady Maisery and traditional English folk duo The Askew Sisters, with whom she won Best Female Singer at the 2011 Spiral Earth Awards. She was also part of 10 piece female supergroup Songs of Separation who won Best Album at the 2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. As well as performing on the folk scene, Hazel has also sung and played with Early Music groups such Joglaresa, The Dufay Collective and The Artisans, with whom she has played at Buckingham Palace, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and live on BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show.

Hazel Askew, Singer | Musician | Composer 

Hazel Askew, Singer | Musician | Composer 

Hazel's love of music and narrative has also led her to work as a composer for film, theatre and dance. She has written music for productions by companies including the Passion in Practice at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Darren Ellis Dance, More Films, The Hampstead Players and Shakespeare in Styria.

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