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Speaking the Bright and Beautiful English of Shakespeare

Ben Crystal

Saturday 18 May 2019, 4.15PM to 5:30pm

Speaker(s): Ben Crystal (actor and author of Shakespeare on Toast—Getting a Taste for the Bard and You Say Potato: A Book about Accents)

The guardian of English poetry, Shakespeare has given us a treasure trove of English to read—funny how so much of it doesn't make sense until it's spoken out-loud.

What did Shakespeare's accent - and that of his actors and audience - sound like? What can we reveal from hearing and speaking his works in that accent? And with no recordings or transcriptions available to us, how do we know?

Closing the Shakespeare and Co.: On the Page and on the Stage day conference, keynote presenter Ben Crystal (actor and author and Shakespeare explorer) will be investigating the fascinating 400-year-old sound of Shakespeare's plays and sonnets, Original Pronunciation, showing a world hidden beneath our modern accent readings full of rhyme, rhythm, and a very subtle humour (and a not-so-subtle one too) to reveal a bright and beautiful English.

Free registration for this pre-show talk is via Eventbrite

For more on Ben, please visit:

For more on Shakespeare and Co. and to register for the full conference, please visit:

Sponsored by the Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies and the Department of English and Related Literature at the University of York. Funding is also provided by the Graduate Students' AssociationPostgraduate Community Fund and organised in partnership with the York International Shakespeare Festival.


Location: Bowland Auditorium, Berrick Saul Building

Admission: Free registration via Eventbrite