“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.
Nominated for 7 OffWestEnd Awards: New Play, Most Promising Playwright, Production, Director, Sound Design, Set Design, Performance Ensemble.
“An astonishingly brilliant production…one of the best debut plays I have ever seen.” BBC Radio 4 Saturday Review
★★★★ “Bailey’s remarkably accomplished debut [is an] excellent production [with] a fantastic cast…there’s a palpable sense that he’s a major talent to be reckoned with.” Evening Standard
★★★★ “Samuel Bailey’s play is unerring.” The Sunday Times Critics’ Choice
★★★★ “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
“The cast in George Turvey’s production take Bailey’s case for empathy these boys and make it all the more compelling – the three perfectly formed characters bounce, spring and saunter off the page in impressive performances…political theatre at its finest.” Exeunt