“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.
Press on Shook
★★★★ “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.” Sunday Times
★★★★ “Delicate, bitterly funny and thoroughly convincing…moving and absorbing and consummately performed.” The Stage
★★★★ “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
★★★★★ “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
★★★★★ “This. Play. Is. Phenomenal. Shook will take you and you will not return the same.” Rewrite This Story
★★★★ “An accomplished, entertaining, and thought-provoking piece of theatre.” Broadway World
“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, StageDoor
Nominated for seven Off-West End Awards: Best Director (Plays), Best Set Design, Best Production, Best Sound Design, Best New Play, Most Promising New Playwright, Best Performance Ensemble.
Press on previous Papatango shows:
★★★★ “Every year the Papatango Prize comes up with a bit of a cracker.” The Guardian on The Funeral Director
★★★★ “Outstanding.” The Times on Hanna
★★★★ “Brimming with quiet insight and sympathetic humour.” The Independent on Trestle
★★★★ “Seduces us with myth and theatrical magic.” Time Out on Orca
★★★★ “Remarkable unearthers of new talent.” Evening Standard on After Independence
Many thanks to the following for their kind support of the Papatango New Writing Prize:
Boris Karloff Charitable Foundation.
Assistant Lighting Designer