Love Labours Won

Ryan J-W Smith
Rogue Shakespeare Company
Gilded Balloon Teviot

Ryan Smith writes plays which are Shakespearean in verse and language but modern in "feel", making for an interesting and enjoyable combination. It's a bit of a romp but with serious undertones. Smith looks at love and lust and how men have difficulty distinguishing between the two - except for one, Duke Cesius, who quite deliberately uses "love" as a cloak for lust.

There's a touch of Love's Labours Lost and a fair amount of Two Gentlemen of Verona here, but it's not just pastiche: Smith takes these ingredients and makes them his own, knowingly winking in Shakespeare's direction all the time. There are also nudge-nudge references to his other two plays, The Power Play and Sweet Love Adieu, and a character Edmund (played by Smith), who constantly reminds us - in a chorus-like role - that we are watching a pastiche. There are even a number of references to the play within the play in Hamlet, with some overtones of Dream's Pyramus and Thisbe, and performances by the players which would not be out of place in The Art of Coarse Acting!

It's great fun - well worth seeing. And in fact it is doing very good business: there are not many Fringe productions which are pulling the size of audience this is.

Reviewer: Peter Lathan

*Some links, including Amazon,,, ATG Tickets, LOVEtheatre, BTG Tickets, Ticketmaster, LW Theatres and QuayTickets, are affiliate links for which BTG may earn a small fee at no extra cost to the purchaser.

Are you sure?