“Shows to See!” 



“The Bard Mark Two – Genius!” 



“Essential to See!” 



“acclaimed poet-playwright Ryan J-W Smith” 



Ryan J-W Smith is a multiple award-winning verse playwright and celebrated poet. To date he has written 6 verse plays, 1 short film in verse, and over 1650 Shakespearean sonnets. Smith is the world’s most prolific Shakespearean sonneteer – a title he holds by a considerable and ever-growing margin as he continues to write. The first 500 of his sonnets were published in 2012 in a “literary landmark” (Watkins Magazine) volume entitled 500 Shakespearean Sonnets: the Diary of a Poetic Quest for Truth, that has received nothing but unanimous praise and adulation from stunned critics and readers alike.

Smith’s unique verse plays, Sweet Love Adieu, The Power Play, Love Labours Won, New World Order, The Bard Gets Hard! and MacDeth! have garnered widespread international accolades including 4 Hollywood Fringe awards, 3 further Hollywood Fringe award nominations, 2 Arts Council England grant awards, 1 Amnesty International award nomination, a Gandhi Foundation Award and countless 4 and 5-star reviews from critics.

Career highlights include: Smith’s third verse play, Love Labours Wonproduced by Smith’s Rogue Shakespeare Company with Smith as Writer/Director/Producer/Actor, wowed huge audiences and professional critics alike for two years running in 2006/7 at the world’s largest theatre festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Selected for ‘Pick of the Fringe’ both years, it received countless 4 and 5-star reviews and widespread audience acclaim. In 2008, Smith’s fourth play, New World Order, a one-man show, again produced by Smith’s Rogue Shakespeare Company with Smith as Writer/Director/Producer/Actor, also gathered nothing but glowing reviews internationally, and was nominated for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award.

After a break from theatre, Smith revived his Love Labours Won, again produced by Smith’s Rogue Shakespeare Company with Smith as Writer/Director/Producer/Actor, in a sell-out run at the 2015 Hollywood Fringe Festival. Smith was awarded the coveted International Award and an Encore Producers’ Award. In 2016, Smith returned triumphantly to the Hollywood Fringe writing, directing and starring in two new verse comedies – The Bard Gets Hard! and MacDeth!. Both shows played to sold-out houses and received glowing audience and critic reviews. With MacDeth!, Smith won the highly coveted International Award for the second year running, along with another Encore Producers’ Award. MacDeth! was also nominated for the Comedy Award and, among numerous other tributes, was named one of Time Out’s “Shows to See” of the festival. The Bard Gets Hard! was also nominated for the International Award.

Collectively, Smith’s films have received 25 international film festival wins, nominations or selections. His last short film, The Poet Cursed (2012), written in rhyming iambic verse, premiered in the Short Film Corner at the 65th Cannes Film Festival, was an official selection at 7 other international film festivals.

Ryan J-W Smith receiving the 2015 Hollywood Fringe International Award – an award he has won twice now in 2015 and 2016


Smith's multiple award-winning 3rd verse play


"a damned good romp"

British Theatre Guide


"his writing is amazing - Smith is one to watch"

Fringe Review

 "brilliantly pacy, well-balance and intriguing with plenty of belly laughs...

Bravo Ryan!"

The Dewsbury Reporter

 "A thrill hearing Smith's verse... the old forms still hold up under new hands"

Turnstyle News

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LOVE LABOURS WON (paperback)

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"undoubtedly the best Shakespearean comedy not written by Shakespeare. This is unmissable."

Three Weeks


"To describe it as a brand new Shakespeare play is to sell it short"

Broadway Baby


LOVE LABOURS WON (paperback)

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"a corker of a production!"

UK Theatre Network


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



"far better than anything that came out of Stratford"



Smith’s fourth verse play


“This is certainly not a lightweight, fluffy piece of theatre”



“one piece which is really essential to see is Ryan J-W Smith’s New World Order”

Edinburgh Guide


“sharply scripted…an admirable feat”

British Theatre Guide


“Smith has written an incredible play here”

Three Weeks


“Fringe acclaimed Smith returns with a Machiavellian lecture in metered verse”

List Magazine


“the writing in verse is very good indeed

Fringe Review

“powerful, terrifying and vital”

Daniel Sunjata

Tony-Nominated Actor

“Few performances I’ve seen have been as gripping, touching and perceptive as New World Order… It’s rare to find a one-man show that’s engaging, entertaining and insightful… Transitions between the three characters are so smooth it’s easy to forget there is only one person on stage. Smith’s conviction is overwhelming and enlightening, generating critical thought on the state of things today.”

Amy Bradney-George

Writer for the Sydney Morning Herald

Sweet Love Adieu

Smith’s first verse play

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“Farcical, bawdy…a treat!”

Three Weeks


“Definitely Shakespeare for a modern audience”

UK Theatre Network

“Great fun”

The Stage

“Methinks it’s a treat!”

Whitby Gazette


“The Bard meets Goldsmith meets Black Adder!”

British Theatre Guide

“There IS culture…highly accomplished

this play’s a comic delight!”

St. Albans Observer

 “The brilliant wit of Ryan J-W Smith


Art'icle Magazine

Screen Writer

Smith also writes for film. Highlights of Smith’s film growing writing accolades:


View Smith’s professional film credits

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