Ben Naylor, BA | The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Ben Naylor, BA

Job title

Senior Lecturer, Course Leader MA Acting Classical


After studying Ancient History and Theology at Durham and Oxford, I trained as a director with Sir Peter Hall at the National Theatre, with John Caird at the Caird Company, with David Lan and others at the Young Vic, and assisting Edward Hall in the West End. I subsequently trained as an actor at Drama Centre London.

I’ve taught acting at Shakespeare's Globe, the Old Vic, the Young Vic, the Shakespeare Centre in Stratford-upon-Avon, LAMDA, Florida State University's Theatre Academy London, Cambridge University, Kingston University and in the US, NZ, Israel, Germany and Greece. I’ve directed internationally in a wide variety of theatres and site-specific venues, including productions which opened Pop-Up Globe, the Menier and the Rose theatres; and my acting work includes the multi award-winning Control (Momentum Pictures).

I joined Central in 2006, teaching primarily on MA Acting. I specialise in Shakespeare and the theatre of the English Renaissance, and in acting traditions derived from Stanislavski, Vakhtangov, European expressionism and the American Method. I’ve written and presented several papers, and a book chapter, on Shakespearean acting and actor training; have lectured and led workshops at various conferences; organised a symposium on verse speaking; and I regularly coach and advise actors, directors and theatre companies on text.

Public productions I have directed (and in some cases also adapted) at Central include:

2018: The Rover, Webber Douglas Studio; 2017: The Devils, Embassy Theatre; 2016: Mary Stuart, Embassy Theatre; 2015: The Suicide, Embassy Theatre; 2014: As You Like It, Webber Douglas Studio; 2013: The Broken Heart, Webber Douglas Studio; 2012: Three Sisters / Swan Song, Embassy Theatre; 2011: Antony and Cleopatra, Webber Douglas Studio; 2010: The Winter's Tale, Webber Douglas Studio; 2009: Much Ado About Nothing, Webber Douglas Studio; 2008: The Merchant of Venice, Webber Douglas Studio; Britannicus, Webber Douglas Studio; 2007: Henry IV, Webber Douglas Studio


Acting - Classical, MA

Acting - Contemporary, MA

Teaching Areas

  • Acting
  • Shakespeare
  • Theatre history
  • Directing and dramaturgy
  • Movement psychology

Research Areas

  • Contemporary and historical performance of Shakespearean text
  • Synthesis of realistic and stylistic acting traditions and pedagogies
  • New Historicist approaches to Renaissance Theatre
  • Political theatre and theatre in conflict resolution
  • Intercultural Shakespeare

PhD Supervision


Key Publications

2012 ‘Greg Hicks’ in The Routledge Companion to Actors’ Shakespeare, edited by John Russell Brown (Abingdon: Routledge), pp. 91-105.

External Practice

2017. Director, Othello, Pop-up Globe, Auckland NZ and Melbourne, Australia

2016. Director, Romeo and Juliet, Pop-Up Globe, Auckland NZ (opening production)

2013. Director, Shakespeare workshop, Habima National Theatre, Israel

2010. Director/Facilitator, The Bulwer Project, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

2004. Director, Julius Caesar, Menier Chocolate Factory (opening production)

2003. Director, Tamburlaine the Great, Rose Theatre Southwark (first production on the site since 1603)

2002. Director, Macbeth, Cambridge Arts Theatre

Register of Interest

Nothing to declare.