Re WHERE THERE'S A WILL Reviewed by Laurie Atkinson, The Dominion Post, 9 April 2015 The play has plenty of good topical theatre jokes and comic scenes with rich fruity performances from John Marwick as the pro and Smythe as the dedicated amateur. Reviewed by Elspeth Sandys, Theatreview, 10 Apr 2015 Shakespeare had more than a passing interest in fathers and daughters - think King Lear, The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale, Titus Andronicus. On the evidence of John Smythe’s play, Where There’s a Will, he too knows a bit about the subject! Skillfully weaving scenes from the aforementioned plays with an unfolding contemporary story, Smythe invites his audience to consider the nature of theatricality (the play is cleverly directed by David Lawrence) and the ways in which the artifice of theatre can be employed to reveal the truth. Smythe himself takes one of the two male leads; the other is played by veteran actor John Marwick. After a slow start the play gets into gear, rollicking along with scenes from Shakespeare interspersed with the unfolding of the relationship between the two men: one a highly successful international actor (Marwick), the other a wannabe who has spent his professional life teaching. In the background, but very much in control of events, is the stage manager/director affectingly played by Neenah Dekkers-Reihana. Exactly where this play fits in Shakespeare’s lexicon of genres is hard to say. Tragic moments collapse into farce, comedy abounds, and there is an ending straight out of romance drama with Dekkers-Reihana acting as the deus ex machina. Marwick and Smythe play well together: Smythe’s comic timing is exemplary. The play would benefit by cuts to some of the Shakespearean extracts, but at just under 90 minutes it is never less than entertaining. Re DANCING IN THE WAKE Reviewed by Claire O'Neil, Theatreview, 10 Feb 2012 A Beckett flavour pervades the simplicity of the work. And speaking of Beckett, I am delighted to review the Theatreview man himself. John Smythe, who plays Joyce, Jung and Beckett, and shines with aplomb and comfort as he switches roles (Germanic and Irish accents an’ all) and manages to bring us closer to a Beckett that we have never met. There is a sweet and endearing relationship that is built between Beckett and Lucia. The playful dialogues (bananas aptly used) and deeper reflections between them (by the end) make you forgive him of his initial intentions of just wanting to be closer to his greatest influence, James Joyce. Re HAMLET Reviewed by Michael Gilchrist, Theatreview, 24 Jul 2011 John Smythe is masterful as Polonius, fully nuanced as both father and civil servant. Hard to forget that moment in his farewell speech to Laertes when he rehearses one last time with his son how he must conduct himself in a quarrel. His ease with words is a vital balance in the scenes with Luke Gumbley as Claudius. Reviewed by Kiran Matthews in Salient, 4 Aug 2011 The cast more than made up for any minor technical shortcomings, particularly John Smythe who delivered Polonius’s intricate banter with the dexterity and rhythm of a stand-up comedian.