About Shaoke

About Shaoke

Who we are:
We tailor your Shakespeare needs.
The company consists of William’s skills and knowledge
and Sassy’s organisational and presentational know how

SHA who-key?

The basic IDEA behind Shakespeare Karaoke:
You learn about Shakespeare. By doing it.

NO Actor Training – NO English Accent – NO Shakespeare Voice – As YOU like it is how we like it!


We provide

  • Tailored Team Building for Companies.
  • A fun night for Theatre Groups and their members.
  • Audition preparation for Actors applying for Drama School or a Shakespeare Company.
  • Workshops for Experienced Actors deepening their knowledge.
  • Workshops for New and Non-Actors gaining their knowledge.
  • Workshops for Schools based on ANY individual play by Shakespeare.
  • Workshops for Schools based on Early Modern Theatre History and EM Acting Practices.
  • Workshops for Schools introducing the Man, the Playwright, the Poet, his Legacy
  • Workshops for Schools focusing on his Language, Vocabulary, Writing Style, and Pronunciation.

All workshops provide a framework and move from the Page to the Stage.
We use simple props and attributes necessary for the scenes.



HOW does a Shaoke show work?!?

WSC 2016
WSC 2016
We provide some simple rules for reading.
And provide a quick demonstration.
You quote some famous one-liners.
You graduate to insults and abuse.
We move on to the MAIN theme of the day.

Often we explore ONE play.
The play's genre determines the theme.
The genres in Shakespeare’s plays are:
Tragedy, Comedy, History, Romance.

Shakespeare should first and foremost be spoken.

Yet understanding his language is most peoples' biggest obstacle. SHA-kespeare kara-OKE directly engages you with his words. Audiences become actors: you say the words, and you are…(choose character here).

Juliet mourns Romeo

How will I know what to do?
The Works are presented simply.
A context is given for dialogue and monologues,
so you know who and where you are in the scene.
The text is projected onto a large screen.
Props are chosen to help with the action.
Then YOU bring the words to life,
and embody your relationship with Shakespeare.

Other themes we investigate, play with, and explore include:

  • CSI Verona,
  • Plays within the Play,
  • Prologues and Epilogues,
  • Introduction to (select Play),
  • Introduction to Early Modern Theatre,
  • Hamlet’s 7 Soliloquies,
  • Shakespeare and Hip Hop,
  • Original Proununciation (aka Shakespeare’s Accent),
  • Heroes & Villains,
  • Lechers & Lovers.

We tailor each show to your needs. Every show is made bespoke. For you, and by you.

Our relationship to our Patrons is of number one importance:

Our Patrons in the 1st year:

– Ministry of Foreign Affairs The Hague (Ministerie van BuZa)

– Schools from Dutch HAVO and VWO level ages 12-18

– International Schools and English Boarding Schools

– The British Library

– Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Stratford on Avon

– World Shakespeare Congress, King’s College, London

– In-Players Theatre Annual Party

– Booking dot com Team-building Party

– Workshops in Amsterdam, London, and New York City

– Stortemelk Festival, Vlieland Island, NL

– Esteval da Estrella Festival, Faia, Portugal

– LunchPause mini-SHAOKE show for Effectory, Amsterdam

– Annually recurring 10-week course on Verse-Speaking at the Film Actors Academy of Hugo Metsers 3.

 Original Practice Performances with Passion in Practice in 2016:

-Henslowe speaks! – Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe, London

-Pericles Revisited- Savannah Music Festival, Georgia, USA


Workshops for SCHOOLS

Shakespeare can be brought down from the ivory tower of the Academy.
Shakespeare can transcend the classroom.

School workshops bring Shakespeare's world and words to life.
Focusing on language, literature, drama, and history.

We LOVE Shakespeare

We zoom in on the play you are studying.
The play is put into context.
The students take on character roles,
re-enacting their path through the play's story.

Workshops can be made to fit classrooms,
or combine several classes in a lecture hall.

We welcome and encourage post-show student and teacher reviews.

Trying to persuade 13 and 14 year-olds that it really is worth studying Shakespeare is not always easy, but William's entertaining, informative and interactive session was the perfect ice-breaker for our Introduction to Shakespeare unit. In a 90-minute session, William demonstrated a range of plays and characters. After sharing some tricks-of-the-trade, William had our students queuing up for the karaoke finale! Without doubt, mission accomplished!

Karl Bates
English Teacher, International School Hilversum, The Netherlands.


More Feedback from other schools:

* Thanks again for doing a fantastic job, I really enjoyed your energy and enthusiasm (Beth Flintoff Outreach Director The Watermill Theatre UK)

* As for William Sutton – OMG -my new hero – he is the rock star of the bard -a bard star? – sonnet and roll. He was so great.  (Jane Branson,  Standards and Learning Consultant, East Sussex Standards and Learning Effectiveness Service, UK)

* The content was just right for our pupils. A great blend and mix of history, superstition, comedy and physical performance. (Mrs R Hine MA, Head of Learning Resources, Berkhamstead School, UK)

*Vorig jaar is William bij ons op Jacob van Liesveldt geweest voor workshops met 4-havo (tto). Dat is ons uitstekend bevallen. (Drs. I.O.M. Oskam, Coordinator Bilingual Department)

*Wij hebben er ook erg van genoten en willen je ZEKER volgend jaar weer vastleggen! (Miranda van den Brink Activiteiten coordinator, Veluws College Walterbosch, Apeldoorn)


Workshops for ACTORS

The SHAOKE Bootcamp introduces you to the art of speaking Shakespeare's verse.

Do you know the difference between your Verse & Prose?
Is it Iambic Pentameter or Banana Contaminator?
Is the verse blank or rhyming?
Do you know your quatrain from your couplet?
Does it matter?

You can expect:

*Stick work

*Voice warm up

*Verse exploration as a group

*Sonnet work as a group

*Individual sonnet work and presentation


SHAOKE Bootcamp always works towards performance.
Physical work is about awareness and open for all body types.
Vocal work is about awareness and your voice.
Mind work is about Shakespeare’s effect and affect on you.
You do the work.

A Testimonial from Erin Jo Harris:
William Sutton one of the WORLD'S top experts in performing and teaching Shakespeare.
When I went to the Prague Shakespeare Company, a couple of the uppity-up there guys, Eric Rasmussen of the RSC Folio & Paul Prescott – University of Warwick, both know him well & agree he's as good as the best!
Eric & William work together in the only troupe on the planet doing plays in Original Pronunciation! (Ben Crystal’s Passion in Practice Ensemble)
William knows the entire canon of sonnets by heart!
My private coaching session with Mr Sutton is a huge reason I landed the role of Rosaline in LLL this summer in Prague. So PLEASE, wherever you are in the world (via Skype) do yourself a favor and STUDY WITH THIS MAN!!!
Seriously. Do it.
Plus he's freaking funny.
That is all.

Sonnet Book

Sonnet Book

SIMPLY use the PAYPAL button to ORDER.

We have a run of 750 sonnetbooks. Each book signed by William S. i.e. 1/750 WS.
PRICE: 10 Euro (plus shipping). ISBN: 978-90-9029441-4

If you don't trust payment systems, You can also email:

A satisfied customer's review of the Sonnetbook

Will Sutton, already a great Shakespeare actor and sonnet performer, has now created a compelling new volume of the Bard’s 154 sonnets. In place of the historical essays and analyses of topics and themes often found in such collections, Sutton begins with a brief explanation of his color-coding system that guides both experienced and novice readers through the actions, thoughts, and structural components of each poem. The volume is brilliant in its simplicity. With it, I am re-exploring works I have been reading, performing, and teaching for decades.

David Alan Stern, PhD

Professor of Dramatic Arts
University of Connecticut
Founder and Owner
Dialect Accent Specialists, Inc.

Here's a sneak preview inside:

Breakdown Sonnetbook

ALSO AVAILABLE for an OUTRAGEOUS Price: All 154 Sonnets read by William on VINYL. COLLECTOR'S LIMITED EDITION Six LP's per box set.

Record 1: A 1-14 B 15-28 Record 2: C 29-42 D 43-56 Record 3: E 57-70 F 71-84 Record 4: G 85-98 H 99-112 Record 5: I 113-126 J 127-140 Record 6: K 141-154 ONLY 4 sets pressed in 2012.

Recorded at FSA Studio Amsterdam Sound Engineer: Stefan Osadzinski





William Sutton

Tel:  00 31 (0)6 28410035

Immediate to 3 hours response time


3 – 24 hours response time

Sassy Smit

Tel:  00 31 (0)6 81930820



School Workshops

Time  elapsed from first enquiry to performance at school a month – 9 months

Other Workshops

Time elapsed from first enquiry to performance anywhere from a week to 3 months


Time elapsed from first enquiry to performance anywhere from a week to 3 months