Papatango and James Quaife Productions announce the West End transfer of Papatango’s original production of Samuel Bailey’s critically acclaimed Shook – 2019’s winner of the annual Papatango New Writing Prize. The production opens at the Trafalgar Studios on 14 April, with previews from 8 April, and runs until 9 May, marking Papatango’s first West End transfer. Artistic Director George Turvey reunites the company from the acclaimed debut run at Southwark Playhouse and on tour in 2019 – Josef Davies (Jonjo), Josh Finan (Cain), Andrea Hall (Grace) and Ivan Oyik (Riyad). The production was nominated for seven Off West End Awards (Best Production, Best New Play, Most Promising Playwright, Best Performance Ensemble, Best Director, Best Set and Best Sound); and is currently a finalist for Best Production and Most Promising Playwright Awards.


George Turvey said today, “We’re thrilled to transfer Shook in Samuel Bailey and Papatango’s West End premières. After a record-breaking run at Southwark Playhouse and a national tour, it’s a joy to revive this very special show and share it with a wider audience.”


James Quaife added, “Having seen Samuel Bailey’s brilliant debut last year, I am delighted to be able to transfer the production with Papatango into the West End for a richly deserved longer run, so even more people can see this extraordinary play.”


“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 a record 1,406 entries, Samuel Bailey’s debut full production tenderly and honestly examines the young men society shuts away.

About Author /

Kath is an actor, singer and writer with a passion for theatre. She has been reviewing for At The Theatre since 2014. Kath has a Masters in Performance at Liverpool Hope University and is Creative Engagement Worker for B arts, a participatory arts organisation.

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