Shook @ Southwark Playhouse*

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Tickets and more information: https://southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/show/shook/
Booking until: 23rd November
Run time: 1hr 35 mins
Production Photographs by: The Other Richard

Taking place in a classroom in a young offender’s institution, Shook follows 3 young men as they navigate learning how to become parents as fatherhood is impending. As their teacher Grace prepares them for the outside world, the question is – how ready are they actually?

In his debut production, Samuel Bailey’s script is equal parts heartbreaking as it is absolutely hilarious. The clever thing about Bailey’s script is, you never feel like he justifies why the 3 boys are in the institution in the first place. The focus is on how they interact with each other and how seriously they take becoming a father.

Josef Davies (Jonjo), Ivan Oyik (Riyad). Credit The Other Richard

All 3 actors playing the 3 boys are all exquisite in their own way.  Josef Davies as Jonjo gives an understated yet powerful performance. Josh Finan delivers off the charts energy and hilarity as Cain. Ivan Oyik has sensational comedic timing as Riyad. There’s also a wonderful understated performance from Andrea Hall as their teacher Grace.

I often find that shows set in one location tend to feel a bit still, in terms of the plot not driving forward or characters refusing to develop. But what Samuel Bailey does well in his script is keep it interesting enough that you become attached to these characters, that you find yourself rooting for them.

This is another example of Papatano Theatre Company finding a hidden gem of a script and giving it a platform at the Southwark Playhouse. Shook is utterly fantastic and I loved every second of it. Do not miss this one.

Until next time,

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