By Samuel Bailey (2019, Prize Winner)
Southwark Playhouse and UK tour.
Directed by George Turvey. Designed by Jasmine Swan. Lighting by Johanna Town. Sound by Richard Hammarton.
Cast: Josef Davies, Josh Finan, Andrea Hall, Ivan Oyik.
“He’ll look different. My little boy. When I get out. Like… to the picture I’ve got in my head. Be like meeting him all over again. Be a whole new start.”
Instead of GCSEs, Cain, Riyad and Jonjo got sentences. Locked up in a young offenders’ institution, they trade sweets, chat shit, kill time – and await fatherhood.
Grace’s job is to turn these teenagers into parents, ready to take charge of their futures. But can they grow up quickly enough to escape the system?
Winner of the 2019 Papatango New Writing Prize from 1406 entries, Samuel Bailey’s debut full production tenderly and honestly examines the young men society shuts away.
Shook follows previous Papatango discoveries who have gone on to win BAFTAs, OffWestEnd and Alfred Fagon awards and premiere worldwide.
★★★★ “A cracking debut production with a superb cast. Funny, down-to-earth, and with a lot to say, it’s one of the best short plays on right now.” WhatsOnStage
★★★★ “Delicate, bitterly funny and thoroughly convincing…moving and absorbing and consummately performed.” The Stage
★★★★★ “One of the most devastatingly accomplished and powerful debuts I have ever seen…one of the most important theatrical debuts of the decade.” British Theatre.com
★★★★★ “This. Play. Is. Phenomenal. Shook will take you and you will not return the same.” Rewrite This Story
★★★★★ “A brilliantly told, powerful story.” Theatre News
★★★★ “Flawless performances.” Morning Star
★★★★★ “Equal parts heartbreaking as it is absolutely hilarious…utterly fantastic and I loved every second.” Hayley Sprout
★★★★ “An accomplished, entertaining, and thought-provoking piece of theatre.” Broadway World
★★★★ “A powerful message from a prize-winning debut playwright.” Reviews Hub
★★★★1/2 “Plays brilliantly with tension and release, creating moments of genuine hilarity.” Theatre Full Stop
★★★★ “Wonderful thought-provoking dialogue, with some very funny anecdotes and impressive performances.” The Artiscape
★★★★ “Thought-provoking…amazing acting…laugh out loud funny.” London Box Office
★★★★ “My goodness, it packs some punch, driven by explosive characterisation and dialogue…a stunning debut…Josh Finan’s barnstormer of a performance as Cain [is] comparable to Ewan McGregor’s Renton or Ewen Bremner’s Spud in Trainspotting. It’s that iconic!” Woodis Reviews
“A short, sharp shock of a play which unobtrusively earns the lump it brings to the throat…three extraordinarily winning but utterly unsentimental performances.” Lyn Gardner, Stage Door
“Shook leaves audiences doubled up with laughter…An extraordinary play, skilfully presented, entertaining and well worth seeing.” Weekender
Buy tickets by clicking on dates below.
Southwark Playhouse, London 30 Oct – 23 Nov
The Hope Street Theatre, Liverpool 26 Nov
Theatr Clwyd, Mold 27-28 Nov
Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough 30 Nov
Marlowe Studio, Canterbury 4 – 7 Dec