Romantic Comedy
In the city of Amsterdam, two women discover that love is a language many learn but few understand.

Except for the snails, of course.
Sophie - Female, Biologist, age 20s and older

Tess - Female, Tour Guide, age 20s and older
Amsterdam, science, romance
“What a sweet short play! I loved watching these two women feel their way around each other, as we all do when first interacting with someone who gives us butterflies and we struggle to discern what exactly this relationship is going to be - and what exactly we'd like it to be. John Mabey always writes such realistic, relatable characters, and "The Legend of Snails" is no exception. And bonus: I got to learn several fantastic tidbits about snail sex. Ten minutes well spent!”
(Lisa Dellagiarino Feriend)
“Bridges, bicycles, and the biology of snails are unlikely subjects for romantic banter, but in the hands of playwright, John Mabey, and from the mouths of his characters, the topics become both tender and touching. Sophie and Tess connect on a tour of Amsterdam, but their fears, flirtations, and foibles are instantly relatable. Like a love itself, THE LEGEND OF SNAILS, is unique, universal, and unforgettable.”
(Ken Preuss)
“Warmly written, authentic exploration of the connection between two people. A beautiful union of place and time creates a world around the characters that is both believable and vulnerable. Not forced or contrived, you feel the authenticity of Sophie and Tess. Would love to see this produced.”
(Dana Hall)
“A sweet, tenderly written romance! Mabey manages to shade in all of the necessary exposition with deft brushstrokes that never feel forced or contrived, and the beautiful, seismic shift in Sophie and Tess's relationship is believable and well-earned.”
(Nick Malakhow)
“A budding romance that's truly charming! The two women feel each other out in awkwardly adorable ways building to a sweet ending. Going on/giving more tours than there officially are is such a good idea for a meet/cute and idea for a play. Well done!”
(Samantha Marchant)
“Beginnings of a sweet romance gingerly unfold between a tour guide and the biologist she’s showing around Amsterdam. Just lovely. Plus, lots of facts about the courtship and mating habits of snails, so there’s even more to love.”
(Hayley St. James)
“I love a play that blends biology facts, historic references, and budding romance. Mabey's sweet short play all three with a gentle pace that allows the characters the space to be real people, and to experience vulnerability in such a beautiful, relatable way. You are rooting for these women from the first lines. Thank you for writing a LGBTQIA story that's simply joyful!”
(Emily McClain)

“The title THE LEGEND OF SNAILS pulled me in. And I love how this play progresses, it’s gradual steady gastropodal movement as Tess and Sophie negotiate their feelings for one another. John Mabey offers the perfect blend of science (eg. “The ways in which snails demonstrate reproductive investment”) and local history from Amsterdam’s City Archive - And the wonderful overlapping of mind and body as Sophie and Tess get to know each other’s worlds. Fine work from an outstanding playwright.”
(Charles Scott Jones)

“Oh my, the setting is romantic enough, let alone the sweet story which is played out in it! The budding relationship between these two young women is gentle, subtle and as romantic as the streets and canals they roam during their tours of Amsterdam. Something tells me their future is as bright as the jewels in the citys diamond museum. A lovely play!”
(Christopher Plumridge)

“Set in Amsterdam—city of canals and crossings—John Mabey’s enchanting “The Legend of Snails” offers a masterclass in activating what is left unsaid. Sophie is a scientist who knows snails but not herself, her desires, or her sexuality. On city tours guided by Tess, Sophie slowly begins to bridge the gap between certainty and vulnerability, knowledge and understanding, data and romance. A beautifully realized expression of the complicated identities we live with, “The Legend of Snails” speaks about intimacy and love with innocence and charm. A truly magical play. Highly recommended."
(The Depot for New Play Readings)
Dragon Productions Theatre Company, CA - 2020

The Depot, CT - 2022
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