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Rogue Shakespeare®

producing the award-winning verse plays of Ryan J-W Smith.


Rogue Shakespeare® has been producing the critically-acclaimed verse of Ryan J-W Smith since 2001.

Here are some of the highlights of our production history.

2016, Hollywood, CA


Winner of 2 Hollywood Fringe Awards!

For the second year in a row, one of Ryan J-W Smith‘s original verse plays was awarded the Hollywood Fringe Festival’s highly coveted International Award. Written, directed by and starring, Ryan J-W Smith, MacDeth! not only won the International Award, but also won an Encore! Producers’ Award. It was also nominated for the Comedy Award. MacDeth! played to sold out houses and received unanimous praise from audiences and critics alike.

“MACDETH! is outrageous, clever, political, disgusting, hilarious! This show is a must see! It’s brilliant… Loved it!”

Bitter Lemons

“MacDeth! is a clever and hilarious Monty Pythonesq send up of The Great Bard’s classic tale of ‘MacBeth’. The script, written by Ryan J-W Smith in rhyming Shakespearean-style verse, is nothing short of brilliant. 

Writer and director, Smith’s turn as MacDeth exhibits an obviously accomplished actor of impeccable comedic timing and presence, boldly leading his ensemble to the promised land – a full house and standing ovation.”

LA Stage Reviews


Blog Critics

“Fringe award-winner Ryan J-W Smith, no stranger to the words of the Bard, offers up an abbreviated version of the the Scottish Play that races along at lightning speed, peppered with comedic asides and modern references.”

Arts Beat LA

“The reinventions keep coming… from the iconoclastic British writer and poet, Ryan J-W Smith”

Cultural Weekly

Broadway World announced Rogue Shakespeare’s return:

“SHOWS TO SEE – MACDETH!.. lighten up the classic study in evil with a touch of Monty Python”


“WHAT TO SEE FOR SURE – MACDETH! – a wild comedy of errors

LA West Media

“THE CLASSICS – British playwright/poet, Ryan J-W Smith, who garnered two awards (including the International Award) at Hollywood Fringe 2015, brings his Rogue Shakespeare theatre company back with two new Bard-esque farces, performed in two venues.”

This Stage Magazine

GOLD AWARD – “Ryan J-W Smith’s painfully clever, pugnaciously subversive, and decidedly funny sendoff of Shakespeare’s Scottish play”

The Tvolution

“We saw MacDeth! Highly recommend this one-of-a-kind show!”

The Vagrancy

2016, London


MacDeth! went on to delight audiences at three prime London venues – The Cockpit in Westminster (Aug.15-27); Headliners Comedy Club in Chiswick (Aug.19), and The King’s Head Theatre  in Islington (Sept. 3-10)

“Shakespeare collides with Monty Python in Ryan J-W Smith’s award-winning raucous verse comedy.”


The UK Shadow Secretary of State, Emily Thornberry, joins a chorus of audience approval in loving MacDeth! 🙂

August 19th @ Headliners Comedy Club, Chiswick

August 15 – 27 @ The Cockpit, Westminster

2016, Hollywood, CA

Sweet Love Adieu

(or The Bard Gets Hard!)

Smith split his own vote this year by having two plays in the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Both were nominated for the International Award and MacDeth! won it. Like MacDeth!, Sweet Love Adieu had many sold out houses and received unanimous praise from audiences and critics alike.

“a non-stop, hilarious, irreverent (if not fully raunchy) parody… a loving tribute to the Bard of Avon, from Smith – a bard in his own right… GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

LA Stage Reviews

“A Writer-Director-Actor is a TRIPLE threat but RYAN J-W SMITH has TWO shows running in rep, so that makes him a SEXTUPLE threat – with the emphasis on Sex (and free chocolate)! Conversational Iambic Pentameter takes some getting used to, but once you’re in the game – from the moment the 8 players greet you before the show starts – it seems as natural as the unnatural things they do!

Shakespearean Satire is tricky, but this trouple pulls it off with elan, thanks to a sound script that seems like something Will might have WISHED he’d thought of himself.”

Charles Zairko


Lance Frantzich as Magistrate and Ryan J-W Smith as Sidney in Smith’s Sweet Love Adieu.

“The pain that this play causes results from laughter”

“Smith plates out another wordtastic dish for the educated masses and hits the mark once more…GO SEE THIS!!!

Matt Ritchey


“The best show we have been to at the Fringe, and is sure to be a winner in whatever categories it is entered in. I highly recommend it, just wonderful!

Mindy Pfeiffer


“simply delightful. It’s one of the funniest stage plays I’ve seen.

Michael Garcia


“Smart, funny, bawdy, awesome! The creator of my personal favorite show from HFF 15 does it again – there is so much comedic brilliance in the writing and in the performances. My words fail me, Ryan J-W Smith’s never do. Go if you possibly can!”

Amy Francis Schott




Winner of 2 Hollywood Fringe Awards!

Written, directed by and starring, Ryan J-W Smith, Love Labours Won won the Hollywood Fringe Festival’s highly coveted International Award, as well as an Encore! Producers’ Award.

Ryan J-W Smith receiving The International Award
at the 2015 Hollywood Fringe Awards Ceremony (photo: Matt Kamimura)

“…a thrill hearing Smith’s verse, a reminder that the old forms still hold up under new hands. A good time, to be sure.”

Noah J Nelson

Critic, Turnstyle News

Carol Vandergrift as ‘Julia’ and Cameran Surles as ‘Katherine’

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“an original, comedic Shakespearean pastiche written entirely in rhyming iambic verse by acclaimed British playwright, Ryan J-W Smith. Love Labours Won is one of the most acclaimed plays ever to come out of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.”

Broadway World

L.A. City Council Member, Mitch O’Farrell (right) congratulates Ryan J-W Smith (left) on bringing Love Labours Won to Hollywood Theatre Row

Audience Reviews – Hollywood Fringe 2015

Special Thanks

Rogue Shakespeare® offers enormous thanks to Culver City Public Theatre for their kind and generous support of this production.


In 2010, Rogue Shakespeare and Smith moved into film production producing 4 festival-winning short films that year. In 2012,  Smith wrote, directed, produced and starred in his 5th short film, The Poet Cursed, which was premiered in the short film corner at the 65th Cannes Film Festival and selected for 7 other international film festivals.

Written and directed by Ryan J-W Smith. Starring Ryan J-W Smith and Suzy Bastone.


Sometimes you have to risk everything. In 2008, Smith and Rogue Shakespeare took a massive gamble by returning to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with something very different from his highly successful comedy, Love Labours Won. Smith’s fourth verse play, New World Order, is a darkly political a one-man show.

Smith’s gamble paid off, and he was rewarded with unanimous praise as a writer, director, producer and actor.

New World Order received nothing but 4 and 5-star reviews and Smith was nominated for The Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award.


“One piece that is really essential to see is Ryan J-W Smith’s New World Order

Edinburgh Guide


“Performed immaculately…it should be missed by no one”

Fringe Review


“sharply scripted in verse… 

Smith’s honest, gritty delivery”

British Theatre Guide


“one man epic…Smith gives an extremely powerful performance”



“Smith has written an incredible play here…

a compelling, challenging piece of theatre”

3 Weeks


“Fringe acclaimed over the last two years, Smith returns with a much more bitter pill…

stunning and convincingly delivered”

List Magazine

Australia 2008

Rogue Shakespeare and Smith were invited to bring New World Order to the Brisbane Writers Festival in Australia late 2008. Smith performed New World Order in the prestigious Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts – in the audience sat dignitaries including the mayor of Brisbane. Amy Bradney-George, writer for the Sydney Morning Herald was also in the audience, and gave the show a stunning review.

The Judith Wright Centre in Brisbane, Australia.

“Few performances I’ve seen have been as gripping, touching and perceptive as New World Order

Transitions between the three characters are so smooth it’s easy to forget there is only one person on stage. Adept use of physicality and vocal nuances mark each character and compliment the depth of the text. Suspending disbelief is an almost unconscious act from start to finish.

Amy Bradney-George


If we thought 2006 was good, 2007 was just crazy good. Rogue Shakespeare was invited by the Gilded Balloon to bring Smith’s, Love Labours Won, back to the massive Debating Hall for a second year. Smith gave up the stage to an all-female cast this year. The crowds were even bigger – as were the codpieces; the reviewers were delighted, the show was selected for ‘Pick of the Fringe’ for a second year straight and Ryan was awarded Best Fringe Promoter by the Observer – a national UK newspaper.


“A corker of a production!

With the fiercely talent Smith at the helm, expect to hear loads about this company in the future.”

UK Theatre Network


“Smith – master of the iambic pentameter, cleverly matches Shakespeare at his own game”


From left to right, Jade Allen as Duke Caesus, Emma Canalese as Annabelle and Victoria Porter as Edmund performing Smith’s Love Labours Won, 2007.



“I don’t make a practice of going to see a Fringe show two years running. Was it worth sacrificing one of my slots? It was.”

British Theatre Guide


“still excellent…Smith has done an astonishing job

Shakespeare would thoroughly approve of this company’s skill and vaulting ambition”

Broadway Baby


Smith is to my point of view far better than anything that came out of Stratford. It’s easy to see why is was so critically acclaimed last year.”


Fringe Promoter of the Year 2007 – Ryan J-W Smith

The Observer - UK National Newspaper


Rogue Shakespeare started making serious waves in the world of theatre when we produced the world premiere of Smith’s third verse play, Love Labours Won, in the massive Debating Hall at the famous Gilded Balloon venue. Huge crowds came; reviewers adorned the show with 4 and 5-star reviews, and the show was selected for ‘Pick of the Fringe’.


The original cast of Smith’s Love Labours Won in 2006.


“the best Shakespearean comedy not written by Shakespeare – this is unmissable!”

3 Weeks


“Smith is one to watch”

Fringe Review


“there are not many Fringe productions pulling the size of audience this is’”

British Theatre Guide


“This Shakespearean-style verse comedy is pacy and well performed”



“a mesmerizing work from a young writer whose career we should follow very closely”


“The brilliant wit of Ryan J-W Smith”

Art'icle Magazine


“Go see it and watch great theatre in action.”

UK Theatre Network

“brilliantly pacy, well-balanced and intriguing… bravo Ryan!”

The Dewsbury Reporter


In 2005, Ryan received more funding from Arts Council England, this time to write his third verse play, Love Labours Won. Loves Labours Won would subsequently turn out to be one of the best-selling theatre shows the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has ever seen…


In 2003, things got a little more serious when we received funding from Arts Council England to produce Smith’s, Sweet Love Adieu in the ruins of Yorkshire’s famous Whitby Abbey. Once again the local new teams arrived, including a BBC News crew, and we received more glowing reviews. Our resident writer/director/producer was also asked to do an unprecedented amount of BBC radio interviews – one sample of which you’ll find below.

“Takes one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies and turns it into an hilarious comedy

British Theatre Guide

“Methinks it’s a treat!”

Whitby Gazette

Interview with Ryan J-W Smith on BBC Radio Leeds (2003)

Ryan J-W Smith (left) and Nick Haverson (right) as Ridley and Latimer in Smith’s Sweet Love Adieu (2003).


It all began when we produced the world premiere of Smith’s first verse play, Sweet Love Adieu. The out-door production took place in the Roman Amphitheatre in St. Albans, England, in the summer of 2001. Unexpectedly, hundreds of audience members turned up as word got around that there was a new bard in town – and that he was rather good! The local new teams showed up and we received our first glowing review from a professional theatre critic. Happy days.

“There IS culture…highly accomplished

this play’s a comic delight!”

St. Albans Observer

Interview with Ryan J-W Smith on BBC 3 Counties Radio (2001)

Ryan J-W Smith playing the leading male role of ‘William’ in the world premiere of his Sweet Love Adieu

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