About Shaoke

About Shaoke

The basic IDEA behind Shakespeare Karaoke:

You experience Shakespeare. By doing it.

We can provide:

  • Tailored Team Building for Companies.
  • A fund-raising event night for Theatre Groups and their members.
  • Audition preparation for applying to Drama School or for a Shakespeare play.
  • Tailored School workshops based on ANY individual play by Shakespeare.
  • Sessions based on Early Modern Theatre History and EM Acting Practices.
  • Sessions introducing the Man, the Playwright, the Poet, his Legacy
  • Sessions focusing on his Language, 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.

NO Actor Training – NO English Accent – NO Shakespeare Voice –  NECESSARY

As YOU like it is how we like it!




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.

Incredibly most people find his language their greatest obstacle.

SHAOKE wants you to directly engage with his words.

Comprehension is in the ear of the listener.

Say it loud and clear and ignore the fear. Fake it til you make it.

Audiences become actors: you say the words, and you are…(any one of 1223 characters).

Juliet mourns Romeo

How will I know what to do?
A context is given for dialogue and monologues.
You will know who and where you are in the scene.

Props are chosen to help with the action.

The words are projected on a screen.

You bring the words to life,
embodying 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 Patrons this year 2016:

– 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 group 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.

 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. All you good teachers know this.                                                       

Often you have very little time to prepare. Let us help you.

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 and drop down menu to ORDER. The drop down menu for shipping costs reflect the FINAL price you pay. SONNETBOOK PRICE: 10 Euro ISBN: 978-90-9029441-4 We regret the shipping costs being more than the book. We made a print run of 750 books. Each book signed by the compositor William S. i.e. 1/750 WS.

The Tariffs employed cover these Countries: EUR1: Austria, Belgium, Denmark (excl. Faro Islands and Greenland), France, (incl. Corsica and Monaco), Germany, Italy (excl. San Marino and Vatican City), Luxembourg, Spain (incl. Balearic, excl. Canary islands), Sweden, United Kingdom (excl. Gibraltar and Channel Islands). EUR2: All other Countries in Europe (excl. Russia). Wereld: All other Countries (incl. Russia).

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

Some SATISFIED Customers review of the Sonnet book by W.S.

"An engineering and literary critical wonder, all at once, with the added benefit of being compact enough to carry with you."

Douglas Bruster
Mody C. Boatright Regents Professor in American and English Literature
The University of Texas at Austin

William Sutton is a marvel. He's long ago memorized all 154 sonnets, but more importantly he has performed them around the world. He's spoken each poem directly to another human being. And trust me (as this is the thrust of my own work) you'll never really know what a sonnet's about, what it means, and what pound of flesh it demands of you until you speak it to another person.
He has, and his understanding of the Sonnets is astounding. I can attest to their mystery, as that's certainly been my experience performing them, too.
Speaking of performance, William provides readings of the sonnets in Readdle's wonderful Shakespeare Pro app.
He's taken his years of intimate insight and broken down each sonnet in form and content. Each thought is highlighted, each line ending noted, making understanding both the structure of the poem and the shape of the thought–the rhetorical structure–simply a matter of four colors. If you can still get a copy of his excellent book on his web site, please do. It's absolutely worth it. But if you can't, he's generously shared his work (everything in the book, plus listings of sonnets by theme) on
Fun Fact: note how he's structured of the sonnets on the site: they form a sonnet lying on its side! 
And so we see that the full set represents the total number of syllables possible in a proper English sonnet (14 lines x 11 syllables). Coincidence? Maybe. Or maybe just genius.
Brian Myers-Cooper,
ACTOR in NYC currently memorising all 154 Sonnets.

BTW – a special note of thanks is in order to WS (this one) as my Sonnet Journey cards owe a debt to this resource.
It is the only other edition with Q text and punctuation with modern spelling that I know of, and made proofreading my work infinitely less painful.

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




SHAOKE is completely self-governing. There are no affiliations or ties to any institutions.
All is TRUE & for encouraging NEW audiences. If you like our work and want to SUPPORT us: