Shakespearean author and actor Ben Crystal gives a unique introduction to King Lear with guidance on what to think about before, during and after you see or study the play.
Ben Crystal is an actor and author. His books include The Shakespeare Miscellany, Shakespeare's Words and Shakespeare on Toast.
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 *
How different it might have been if we'd had Ben Crystal's sparky little books to introduce us. My Shakespearean epiphany would have come much sooner...[the books] lead newcomers into the play in question in a gentle, upbeat, unpretentious way. Fresh and slim, they're about as far as could be from dusty, dry study guides relating to school exams...much better than the average theatre programme...I'd like to see them on sale in theatre bookshops, and/or wherever there's a production of one of these plays...I'd also recommend them for classroom use. -- Susan Elkin * The Independent on Sunday *
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 *