The Sword Guy Podcast

Shakespeare and Silver with Ben Crystal

June 18, 2021

The Sword Guy Podcast episode 55

Ben Crystal is an actor, author, producer, and explorer of original practices in Shakespeare rehearsal and production. In this episode we talk about Ben’s work in exploring how actors would have rehearsed, staged, and performed Shakespeare’s plays in the 16th century, and how the original rhymes and pronunciation would have sounded. It makes for a completely different experience to what we think of as “Shakespearean” in modern times. Even if you aren’t into Shakespeare this is a fascinating conversation about theatre, memory, language, and of course, swords.

Which leads us on to George Silver. Find out what Ben thinks of Silver and whether he would have wanted to go to the pub with him. For those of you unaware of our project, in 1599 George Silver published his Paradoxes of Defence, offering a window into the Tudor and medieval martial arts as practiced in England. I am bringing that book to life in glorious audio, both in modern pronunciation (narrated by Jonathan Hartman), and Original Pronunciation (narrated by Ben Crystal).  Renowned historical harpist Andrew Lawrence-King is providing the musical punctuation. You can support the project here: and listen to a sample of Ben’s original pronunciation towards the end of the episode here:

Visit Ben Crystal’s website at and find him on Twitter @bencrystal.

For more information about the host Guy Windsor and his work, as well as transcriptions of all the episodes, check out his website at

And to support the show, come join the Patrons at



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