ROGUE CREATIVES

Ryan J-W Smith, BA Theatre Studies, MA Law (Dist)

Ryan J-W Smith, BA Theatre Studies, MA Law (Dist)

Artistic Director / Playwright / Director / Producer / Actor

https://www.ryanjwsmith.com/

Receiving a full scholarship from the European Union, Smith read Theatre Studies at Trinity College, Dublin. During his studies he was also awarded a scholarship from Trinity as the highest achieving student in his year. After Trinity, Smith founded Rogue Shakespeare® in 2001 with the debut production of his first verse play, Sweet Love Adieu, in the ruins of the Roman Amphitheatre in St. Albans, England. The production was a roaring success with the leading local paper confirming that “there IS culture – if you want it” – St. Albans Observer.

Since then Smith’s verse plays have received innumerable 4 and 5-star reviews, nominations and awards via stand-out productions across the world. Highlights include: 2005 Smith received an Arts Council England financial award to write his critically-acclaimed 3rd verse play, Love Labours Won, which stunned critics and audiences alike at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2006 and 2007: ★★★★★ “the best Shakespearean comedy not written by Shakespeare – this is unmissable!” – Three Weeks; ★★★★★ “go see it and watch great theatre in action” – UK Theatre Network; ★★★★★ “a damned good romp” – British Theatre Guide; ★★★★ “still excellent – Smith has done an astonishing job” – Broadway Baby; ★★★★ “Smith – master of the iambic pentameter, cleverly matches Shakespeare at his own game” – Hairline; ★★★★ “Smith is, to my point of view, far better than anything that came out of Stratord” – One4Review; ★★★★ “Smith is one to watch” – Fringe Review.

In 2008 he was nominated for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award for his 4th verse play – the politically daring one-man show, New World Order, which premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe receiving nothing but glowing 4 and 5 star reviews, and subsequently toured Australia: ★★★★★ “FLAWLESS” – Edinburgh Guide; ★★★★★ “hard-hitting one-man epic” – One4Review; ★★★★ “performed immaculately – it should be missed by no-one” – Fringe Review; ★★★★ “Smith has written an incredible play here” – Three Weeks; ★★★★ “sharply scripted” – British Theatre Guide; ★★★★ “STUNNING” The List Magazine.

In 2012, Smith’s fifth short film, The Poet Cursed, written in Smith’s unique rhyming verse, was selected for the Short Film Corner at the Cannes Film Festival, and was also an official selection at 7 other international film festivals

In 2015, Ryan directed and performed in the critically-acclaimed US premiere of his Love Labours Won. This production won the highly coveted International Award and an Encore! Producers Award at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. In 2016, he repeated and expanded upon this success by concurrently playing lead roles/directing/producing both the world premieres of his critically-acclaimed 5th verse play, MacDeth! – which won both the International Award and an Encore! Producers Award and was also nominated for the Comedy Award at the Hollywood Fringe Festival – as well as a critically-acclaimed rewrite of his 1st verse play, Sweet Love Adieu (version II), which was also nominated for the Hollywood Fringe International Award (losing to Smith’s ‘MacDeth!‘).

In 2019, Smith directed his latest (7th) verse play, the one-woman tragicomic history, Pretty Witty, Nell®, at the Hollywood Fringe – it was nominated for the International Award and highly praised by critics and audiences alike – with Broadway World calling it “perfect – a stand-out solo show”.

In 2023, Smith revived Pretty Witty, Nell® with a critically-acclaimed run in London starring newcomer, Hannah Attfield, which garnered unanimous praise from critics: ★★★★★ “Smiths writing is exquisite. Attfield was phenomenal Simply put this play is a work of genius. Genius writing, genius direction and genius acting” – Pink Prince Theatre ★★★★ “Reenacted intricately and with flair, by this gentle wench, who knows the affair” – First Night Magazine  ★★★★ “This is impressive there is a lot of pleasure to be had in this kind of pastiche” – London Pub Theatres Magazine  “Engrossing from start to finish… worthy of tremendous praise… I can only marvel at Smith’s craft” – Mark Aspen Reviews. “Hannah Attfield perfectly plays our Nell. It’s modern, enjoyable Shakespeare; with comedy and tragedy – the lot!” – The Family Stage.  “Pretty Witty Nell is a truly memorable production, a triumph. – Twickenham and Richmond Tribune.

Alongside his verse plays, Ryan has written over 2,600 Shakespearean sonnets – the first 500 of which were published in 2012 in the critically-acclaimed volume, ‘500 Shakespearean Sonnets‘ – “A landmark in literature” – Watkins Magazine; A tour de force – Herald Scotland; “deserves to sit along side your Poes, Plaths, and T.S. Elliots” – Mass Movement Magazine; Masters of the verse – Smith pays homage to the Bard with the must-read collection of his own modern verse – London Planner; “Shakespeare’s record of 154 sonnets in his lifetime was breathtaking. But what Ryan J-W Smith has achieved is simply awe-inspiring.” – Book A Poet.

A festival-winning filmmaker, Ryan has written, directed and produced 5 short films and 2 (forthcoming) feature documentaries. Collectively, Smith’s films have received 25 international film festival wins, nominations or selections.

Smith is also a composer and recording artist; his first two albums were originally released with Universal Music.

As well as holding a batchelor’s degree in Theatre Studies, Smith graduated from law school with a master’s degree in Law, awarded with distinction. Ryan has been admitted as a member of the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn – a professional association for lawyers. Lincoln’s Inn is the largest inn of the famous Four Inns of Court in London.

Ryan is a long-time practitioner of the Buddhist arts of Mindfulness Meditation and Wing Chun Kung-Fu. Smith considers Buddhist philosophy to be the foundation of all of his achievements and skills.

Smith also the is Founder and Senior Agent of the world renowned British Talent Agency®.

Our Summer Festival Cast…

Ryan J-W Smith

Ryan J-W Smith

MACDETH in MACDETH! / EDMUND in Love Labours Won / SIDNEY in Sweet Love Adieu

A professional actor for over 30 years, Smith’s credits are wide a varied. Early in his career, Ryan appeared in supporting roles in film and TV productions with notable actors such as Patrick Bergin, Malcolm McDowell and Pauline Quirke. But Smith’s self-evident passion for theatre quickly lured him away from film and TV onto the stage.

Smith has appeared in countless stage productions in many countries around the world. With Rogue Shakespeare®, Ryan has received many awards, nominations and countless 4 and 5 star reviews for his acting. e.g. In 2008 he was nominated for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award for his 4th verse play – the politically daring one-man show, New World Order, performed by Ryan, which premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe receiving nothing but glowing 4 and 5 star reviews: ★★★★★ “FLAWLESS” – Edinburgh Guide; ★★★★★ “hard-hitting one-man epic” – One4Review; ★★★★ “performed immaculately – it should be missed by no-one” – Fringe Review; ★★★★ “an incredible play” – Three Weeks; ★★★★ an admirable feat…Smith’s honest, gritty delivery” – British Theatre Guide; ★★★★ “STUNNING” The List Magazine.

Please see above for Smith’s full biography.

Ryan is represented by (and owns) the British Talent Agency®

Anju Sauter

Anju Sauter

LADY MACDETH in MACDETH! / KATHERINE in Love Labours Won / ANNE in Sweet Love Adieu

Anju Sauter is a Swiss-American actress and theatre-maker based in London and Zurich. She trained at Juilliard’s Youth Summer Program and Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance, graduating with a BA in European Theatre Arts.

This summer marks Anju’s debut with Rogue Shakespeare®.

Anju is represented by Ryan at the British Talent Agency®

Stefan Trout

Stefan Trout

BANQUO in MACDETH! / CAESUS in Love Labours Won / WILLIAM in Sweet Love Adieu

Stefan Trout is a US and EU citizen, and British resident. Graduating with honours from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2014, Stefan has worked professionally as an actor, musician and vocal artist in many mediums. Stefan recently completed his first season (season 3) in a recurring role in the popular TV show FBI: International.

Stefan has also devised flatteringly-reviewed children’s shows for the Edinburgh Fringe, worked for the BBC on “Teacup Travels,” performed at the Globe in “As You Like It” and, recently completed a run of “News Revue” at the Canal Cafe Theatre.

This summer marks Stefan’s debut with Rogue Shakespeare®.

Stefan is represented by Ryan at the British Talent Agency®

Anna MacLeod-Franklin

Anna MacLeod-Franklin

ANNABELLE in Love Labours Won / FAITH in Sweet Love Adieu

Anna has performed extensively over the last two decades from St Albans to Stratford Upon Avon to Cornwall to the Southbank. Her enduring love of Shakespeare has seen her play over twenty of the Bard’s great characters including Beatrice and Leonata in Much Ado About Nothing, Helena, Titania and Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mistress Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor and Lady Toby Belch in Twelfth Night.

Anna is a regular performer with OVO in the Roman Theatre, having originated the role of Boudicca in Boudicca at Verulamium, OVO’s very first Roman Theatre show in 2014. Other favourite roles include Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest, Mrs Betterton in Playhouse Creatures, Katherine Parr in The Regina Monologues, Sonya in Uncle Vanya, the Narrator in Peter Pan and Claire in The Maids. Anna appears as Clemency Landrigan in feature film The Mystery of Mr E, by bestselling author Sophie Hannah, released last year.

Anna is delighted to join Rogue Shakespeare® for their summer festival.

Jonny Wiles

Jonny Wiles

WITCH in MACDETH!

Jonny trained at Guildford School of Acting and now lives in London where he is also working on a PhD on Italian literature. His recent work on stage includes Othello (Cambridge Theatre), Twelfth Night (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre), and Smoke and Mirrors (Lamphouse Theatre). His recent film work includes 12 (Kotei Productions) and Where’s Jonny? (Requiem Productions).

This summer marks Jonny’s debut with Rogue Shakespeare®.

Jonny is represented by Ryan at the British Talent Agency®

James Wakeland

James Wakeland

FAU-CHI in MACDETH! / RIDLEY/DOCTOR/MAGISTRATE/PRIEST in Sweet Love Adieu

James is an American actor based in London with a strong passion for theatre and all things Shakespeare.  He is a recent graduate of East 15 Acting School’s MFA Acting (International) course.  Before moving to the UK, he also studied and trained at USU Theatre.  His recent roles include Kilroy in ‘Camino Real’ at the Bridewell Theatre, Coleridge in ‘Mary Lamb’ at Hoxton Hall Theatre, and Phil in ‘DNA’ which toured to schools around London.  He also attended a brief residency with Shakespeare’s Globe Higher Education in 2022.

This summer marks James’ debut with Rogue Shakespeare®.

James is represented by Ryan at the British Talent Agency®

Hannah Attfield

Hannah Attfield

NELL in Pretty, Witty Nell® / AUDREY in Sweet Love Adieu

Born and raised just outside of Eastbourne, Hannah’s passion for acting was fostered from a young age before pursuing her professional training at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. Her notable stage roles include Macduff in ‘Macbeth‘, Sorel in ‘Hayfever‘ and Mercutio in ‘Romeo & Juliet‘.

Hannah has been performing with Rogue Shakespeare® since she made her London stage debut with Rogue Shakespeare® playing the title role in Smith’s award-nominated 7th verse play, Pretty, Witty Nell® at Barons Court Theatre in July 2023 for which she received numerous 4 and 5 star reviews.

★★★★★ “Smiths writing is exquisite. Attfield was phenomenal Simply put this play is a work of genius. Genius writing, genius direction and genius acting” – Pink Prince Theatre. ★★★★ “Reenacted intricately and with flair, by this gentle wench, who knows the affair” – First Night Magazine  ★★★★ “This is impressive” – London Pub Theatres Magazine  “Engrossing from start to finish… worthy of tremendous praise” – Mark Aspen Reviews. “Hannah Attfield perfectly plays our Nell” – The Family Stage.  “Pretty Witty Nell is a truly memorable production, a triumph. – Twickenham and Richmond Tribune.

With Rogue Shakespeare®, Hannah then toured Pretty, Witty Nell® to Eastbourne; Theatre Row on 42nd St. in New York; and the Rotunda Theatre in Brighton (and soon in Tunbridge Wells and St. Albans). 

Hannah is represented by Ryan at the British Talent Agency®

Alfie Jameson

Alfie Jameson

ROSS in MACDETH! / VALENTINE in Love Labours Won / LATIMER in Sweet Love Adieu

Alfie Jameson is a recent graduate from Rose Bruford College. Some of his recent credits include the films, ‘The DuPont Engagement’ and ‘The Truth About the Whale In the Sky’. His recent Theatrical credits include “The Lodger” as part Camden Fringe and 2 month TIE tour in Italy.

This summer marks Alfie’s debut with Rogue Shakespeare®.

Bowie Alexander

Bowie Alexander

BYDEN/MACBUFF/ASSASSIN/APPARITIAN in MACDETH! / EDGAR in Love Labours Won / LORD EDMUND in Sweet Love Adieu

Bowie is an actor, voice actor and presenter based in Eastbourne. After studying Applied Theatre at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, he spent several years doing touring theatre before turning his hand to presenting, and commentating within the video game industry, working with brands like Nintendo. With over 15 years of professional experience, he has returned to the theatre and voice acting spaces with the hope to tell more stories. Recent credits include Malcolm in ‘Macbeth,’ and Andy Dufresne in ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ at Eastbourne’s Grove Theatre.

This summer marks Bowie’s debut with Rogue Shakespeare®.

Katherine Rose

Katherine Rose

JULIA in Love Labours Won

Katharine is a British stage and screen actor who first appeared on London’s stages in 2015 in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Unicorn Theatre. She has played leading roles in several short films selected for film festivals globally. Credits include: Orange Juice, Bliss, Shut In and Bleached Out.

Katharine trained at Mountview Academy of Performing Arts before going on study the Meisner Technique.

This summer marks Katharine’s debut with Rogue Shakespeare®.

Katharine is represented by Ryan at the British Talent Agency®

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