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Rogue Shakespeare®

Coming to the Hollywood Fringe in June, our critically acclaimed production of Smith‘s Love Labours Won

Now Casting!

Casting Notice – May, 2015

We are delighted to announce the long-awaited US premiere of Ryan J-W Smith‘s award-winning third verse play, Love Labours Won.

Love Labours Won (US Premiere) – Hollywood Fringe

Theatre (comedy)
Equity 99-seat waiver
Synopsis: Love Labours Won is an award-winning Shakespearean pastiche written entirely in Elizabethan-style rhyming iambic verse by celebrated poet and playwright, Ryan J-W Smith.  It was awarded ‘Pick of the Fringe’ at Edinburgh Festival Fringe two years running; garnered multiple 4 and 5 star reviews and played to packed houses.
Venue: Acme Theatre, The Complex on Theatre Row Hollywood, Los Angeles
Casting Dates: Now! Auditions commence May 22 until we have a full cast.
Rehearsal dates: June 1 onwards.
Performance dates: June 14 (press preview), 19-21, 26, 27 with a likely extension.
ROLES: There are 6 available parts spread between male and female actors with playing ages of between 21 and 45. Experience with Shakespeare et al / direct address / commedia dell’arte style of performance is preferred. Strong comedy, drama and improvisational skills required for all parts. This is epic theatre – loud and proud – nothing is understated. Please also highlight actors with stage combat certification and experience.
VALENTINE: Male, 21-35. Your typical Romeo. Oversensitive; obsessive, needy.
KATHERINE: Female, 21-35. English rose. Sensitive, caring, expressive.
JULIA: Female, 21-35. Jealous. Wildly emotional. Angry. Violent.
ANNABELLE: Female, 21-35. A stunningly beautiful actress. Dead-pan comedy skills.
EDMUND: Male, 21-45. A powerful actor, capable of anything – including chastising the audience into silence.
EDGAR: Male, 21-45. A chameleon with exceptional physical comedy skills.
Kindly submit by email

Actors seen for audition will be expected to PERFORM (yes, totally off-book darling) one of the speeches below.

Select a speech that suits your natural casting.

Edgar speech

EDGAR. Our final act is heavy for its part, Be warned, it is not fit for faint of heart. Take care, sweet ladies, of thy humour here For we shall rend thy fancy into fear. Poor Anne, is dead, her torments now at peace, The pain she could not bare, so took release From all her human suffering on earth; She has no choice but now to seek rebirth. Her kin, and all, grow quiet with this act And even gross Lord Edmund turns his back On infamy and makes a pledge to serve Her spirit, as in life she did deserve. I now retake the part of William, Who’s battle with himself is here become. (As ‘William’) O hateful smell, what vision do I see? Dear God, I ask of this alone from thee: That I might here take one kiss of my wife, In lieu thereof I offer thee my life. I thank thee then, for nothing more than this, I’ll take my vow of death with but a kiss. (He moves to kiss Annabelle.)

Annabelle speech

ANNABELLE. Aye, me! Annabelle! Wherefore love thee whereat thou art not loved? O, speak not his name, cast all thoughts aside; Transfixed to his eyes thou shalt stay unloved. Think of thy virtue, to honour confide. And yet, though he scorn me, I needs love on ‘Mitting the bitter-sweet passage of time, Wherewith we ‘cover our senses undone, Preferring his towering heart to climb. Yet, from the vantage of this soaring heart, ‘Tis clear that he respecteth our love not. I must then, for love’s sake, take leave and part; Too much I basely muse upon this plot. Yet, what could be done to arouse his sense; Incline his intents to our longing arms? I must like a wayward lamb leap his fence, Then fawn like a lambkin, assume his charms. O that we to ourselves could be thus true, My dear, Duke Caesus, I swear, I love you! I would he could peruse my hungry mind, A more exacting love he should not find. Had I but one wish here to be granted, I pray, in his heart, that mine be planted And through my daily care grow strong as oak. O, answer my prayers, make wholly the broke! Yet, soft, Annabelle; make peace with the air. Come, speak thee no more, let fortune repair.

Edmund speech

EDMUND. I do beseech ye masters, grant no wits To ought that is bespoken by these tits! We real humans know that to be good Is like to work for nought, since no one should. It discontents our natural self-interest To be as one; in others time invest. Nay, dear friends, this is surely not the way Lest we turn artsy, generous or gay! A stand must be here taken for our kin, There’s but one course to take on earth to win: Money, is key, an to be gained through fear, Power is next, and greed, that’s plain and clear! Desire, lust, pride; all fair game to me, Fast-tracked to which is fame or infamy. An fame for nought at all but for itself, Of all sweet riches, there’s the highest wealth! There’s nothing I like better than to see, Inept and useless pure celebrity. What a wondrous marvel of our age! In years to come they shall inscribe this page Upon the stone tablets of future sense; If such is true, God speed the recompense, But God be praised, we have good leaders true, That show us how to gut the good we do. An so by burning bush we shall thus be A hemisphere of racists, you and me! What happy days! I pray ye, play your part: Do absolutely nothing; stone your heart. Think not upon the children that we kill, The women raped or soldiers blood we spill! It’s all for peace and freedom, as they say, So raise a glass! Hip-hip, hip-hip-hurray! O no, good sirs, now’s not the time for peace, Nor of kind words, there’s terror to unleash. In God’s good name, and as God’s name is love, Let’s drop, with love, our hatred from above. Forgive me, sirs, for I have turned you numb; I pray, be not so blind, so deaf; so dumb.

Katherine speech

KATHERINE. O, Valentine, how can this be our path? That such sweet love today now causes pain, When yesterday it forced us but to laugh, Is all our search for happiness in vain? What is’t about desire, that once won, Turns all that we have gained to something lost, For as new treasures claimed we stare upon, To think of us without we fear the cost. And yet we lived without and were alive Before we had the what we fixed upon. This is then not to live, but to survive, Lest we can freely lose love labours won? Afore I break my mind, I’ll rein my heart And with a broken vow bid thee adieu, Farewell, my one true love, here we do part, I wish you sweet success in all you do. I love thee true, suffice to let thee go, Though by my troth, this earthquake in my heart Would have thee back again, and I would know Why must all that’s together come apart? There’s something selfish in this human love, That holds us here beneath beset with woe. Should we sans fear have faith we’d soar above, And feel for those mere mortals left below. Perchance I should with kindness aid his mind, By gracing him with that all men should know? If through the playing of this play he find Instruction for his heart, he’ll thank me so. I am resolved, divinity be mine; I’ll let him go and love my Valentine.

Julia speech

JULIA. Then let me keep thee from thy labour not, I thank thee for thy part within this plot. (Exit Annabelle) And thus with gratitude I deal my doom, Belace the bitter rim of mine own glass; Now idly care will happy few illume, Whilst we below them choke a poisoned gasp! How came her sphery angel eyes so bright That earth and heaven both do her invite? All souls who glance upon them do despair, Whilst I? I am as ugly as a bear! Repugnant farts have beauty more than I! You laugh? I hear the truth in your reply. And see you titter still at my expense? No matter; I’m accustomed to offence! Japes and quips and Julia are one! O, What ignorance did force me muse upon Such foolish knavery as I have played? Methinks this ugly duckling won’t upgrade! If so, my salty tears are all you’ll see; Think nought of it, ‘tis nothing! Let me be! Here’s but the cry of insufficiency, A playwright’s sour poking joke; that’s me!

Valentine speech

VALENTINE. As one light of another light consumes, Or as the sea by force takes o’er the shore, So vision of this newer love illumes, Against the which my present love seems poor. Is it mine eyes, or other’s eloquy, Her sweeter heart, or bitter apathy That reasons me to be thus reasonless? And yet, she is perfection, nothing more; Against her virgin truth, false Kate’s a whore! Fie, fie, ignoble tongue; I thee success! Command thee hence to quell thy lusty fire; If I ‘gainst Kate, ‘gainst self I do conspire! But what of Caesus? He’s declared his aim, And boasts how Annabelle doth he requite. Methinks a friend should marvel at his gain, Not steal away his pudding for a bite! And yet, he loves her ill for he is false And plays upon another’s set of dice. To steal her well and true is my impulse, How is’t without a sound she doth entice? We have not spoke a word and I am hers; Perchance I should hot-footed seek her out And tell her of my love ‘afore it errs? ‘Tis better die within than live without. If I can conquer o’er desire, I must; If not, in Annabelle I’ll lay my trust.

All speeches taken from ‘Love Labours Won’ © COPYRIGHT 2005, 2006 Ryan J-W Smith

Love Labours Won

Now on sale – tickets to see Love Labours Won at the Hollywood Fringe

Please reserve your seats asap to avoid disappointment!


Reviews from the world premiere of Love Labours Won at the 2006 Edinburgh Fringe



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

3 Weeks


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

British Theatre Guide


“Smith is one to watch”

Fringe Review

“The brilliant wit of Ryan J-W Smith”

Art'icle Magazine


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

UK Theatre Network - Doug McFarlane


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



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


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

The Dewsbury Reporter

Reviews for the return production of Love Labours Won at the  2007 Edinburgh Fringe



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



“still excellent…Smith has done an astonishing job

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

Broadway Baby


“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


“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


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

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