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Springboard Shakespeare: Macbeth Paperback – 20 Jun 2013

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Springboard Shakespeare: Macbeth + Springboard Shakespeare: Hamlet + Springboard Shakespeare: King Lear
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Product details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Arden Shakespeare (20 Jun. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408164620
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408164624
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 321,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ben Crystal is a British 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, at the reconstructed Shakespeare's Globe, London, and is a narrator for RNIB Talking Books, Channel 4 and the BBC.

He co-wrote Shakespeare's Words (Penguin 2002) and The Shakespeare Miscellany (Penguin 2005) with his father David Crystal, and his first solo book, Shakespeare on Toast - Getting a Taste for the Bard (Icon 2008) was shortlisted for the Educational Writer of the Year Award, 2010. His new series of introductions to Shakespeare's plays - Springboard Shakespeare - was published by Arden Shakespeare in June 2013.

In 2011, he played Hamlet in the first Original Pronunciation production of the play for 400 years with the Nevada Repertory Company, and in 2012 he was the curator of the first CD of extracts of Shakespeare recorded by professional actors in Original Pronunciation for the British Library.

In July 2014, he brought his ensemble to the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare's Globe, and produced the first reading of Macbeth in OP in Shakespeare's theatre for 400 years. In January 2015 he will take his ensemble to Stockholm to present their production of Pericles in OP, which will be live-scored by the Swedish Radio Symphony as part of conductor Daniel Harding's Interplay Festival.

He and his ensemble perform and give workshops on Shakespeare around the world, and some of this work can be viewed at www.passioninpractice.com

He lives in London and online at www.bencrystal.com and Tweets from @bencrystal

Product Description


'Having Crystal as a companion through the stickier parts of Hamlet and Macbeth is like going to the theatre with an intelligent friend.' --The Independent

'A highly worthwhile series, which should prove to be valuable for directors, actors and students…This formula really works. As an experiment, your dedicated reviewer tried out Macbeth in preparation for and following on from the Eve Best production of the Globe. The experience was definitely improved, with some of the tips on words and language proving especially helpful and enlightening… These really are excellent little guides that will prove informative to almost anybody with an interest in the subject.' --Philip Fisher, British Theatre Guide

About the Author

Ben Crystal is an actor and author. His books include The Shakespeare Miscellany, Shakespeare's Words and Shakespeare on Toast.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By FFFF on 10 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We hear that it is possible these days to achieve some kind of exam qualification in English Literature without ever having read a complete play, by Shakespeare or anyone else. Perish the thought! This is the real way in, thorough but light-hearted. Parents, uncles, grandpas - buy lots of these and distribute them to all the young people you know. Something is bound to germinate somewhere.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Informative and accessible 26 Oct. 2013
By D. Gill - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been teaching Shakespearean works to high school students for 14 years. When I was assigned AP Lit for this school year, I started searching for helpful resources for Shakespeare's Language as well as for Macbeth and Hamlet. I'd seen some youtube videos about the language done by Ben Crystal and his dad, I immediately ordered their book on the language, and I really like having it as a resource for the advanced students. Since we were reading Macbeth first in class, I ordered this, figuring if it was helpful I would also buy Springboard Shakespeare for Hamlet.

Now that I've read it and am half-way through the unit on Macbeth with my students, I can say that this is the best resource I've seen for teaching Shakespeare to high schoolers, particularly the older kids. (I've seen A LOT of resources through the years.) The "Before" section is great for giving a background about Shakespeare, the theater, and the play in general, and then the "During" is helping direct my study guides and points for the kids. I think his background as an actor makes the academic study of the language all the more accessible and helpful. Needless to say, I've already ordered the Hamlet one.

This would be great for an adult who is heading to a production or a film adaptation and is worried that the language might make it confusing. You could just read parts (he tells you what to read if you are short on time and on your way to the theater) or you could read the whole book -- it's a quick read. No long academic essays, just brief helpful notes about relevant information.
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