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“Bailey’s a major talent to be reckoned with”

Evening Standard

Papatango today announces that the 2019 Papatango New Writing Prize-winner Shook by Samuel Bailey – which was due to transfer to the West End when the pandemic hit – has been filmed and will be available to watch online from Friday 5 February until Sunday 28 February 2021.

Tickets are £10, and give audiences access to stream the show for 48 hours after purchase via – captions available. Papatango will mark the production’s online première with a live Q&A with the cast and creative team across its social media channels at 7.30pm on Friday 5 February.

“An astonishingly brilliant production… One of the best debut plays I have ever seen”

Saturday Review, Radio 4

The Other Richard

Featuring the original cast – Josef Davies (Jonjo), Josh Finan (Cain), Andrea Hall (Grace) and Ivan Oyik (Riyad) – and with the original set/costume designs by Jasmine Swan and sound design by Richard Hammarton, the capture of the play was directed by Papatango’s Artistic Director George Turvey in collaboration with BAFTA-winning and multi-Emmy-nominated director James Bobin.

George Turvey, Artistic Director of Papatango, said today, “Having suffered the loss of the West End transfer, we are delighted to have found a way to share Sam’s fantastic play with a wider audience. We are hugely grateful to James, the cast, and the whole creative team for pulling together under difficult circumstances to make it possible. We hope that audiences around the world enjoy watching it as much as we did making it.”

The play, inspired by true stories, looks at three young offenders who are due to become fathers while incarcerated. As Cain, Riyad and Jonjo embark on parenting classes under the instruction of Grace, their different histories slowly emerge and their different futures take shape. Both funny and poignant, Shookexamines the young people society shuts away.

Shook won the 2019 Papatango New Writing Prize, debuting to critical acclaim at Southwark Playhouse, and was nominated for 7 OffWestEnd Awards and The Stage Debut Award for Most Promising Playwright. It became the best-selling world première in the venue’s history, and sold out on tour across England and Wales.

Following his debut, Samuel Bailey is now under commission from Paines Plough and Theatre Royal Plymouth, as well as developing a new film with the award-winning director Peter Cattaneo (The Full Monty) for 42. He was born in London and raised in the West Midlands. He began writing plays in Bristol and developed work with Bristol Old Vic, Tobacco Factory Theatres and Theatre West before moving back to London. He is an alumnus of the Old Vic 12 and Orange Tree Writers’ Collective. Shook was originally supported by the MGCfutures bursary programme, and was his debut full production.

Josef Davies plays Jonjo. His theatre credits include Bent (National Theatre), Hangmen (Royal Court Theatre, Wyndham’s Theatre), The 306 (National Theatre of Scotland), and Junkyard (Headlong). For television, his credits include ChernobylWorld on FireSilent WitnessShakespeare and HathawayThe BisexualCurfewCall The Midwife, and Uncle. For film, 1917The KingDumboUndercliffe, and The Limehouse Golem.

Josh Finan plays Cain. His theatre credits include Romeo and JulietMacbeth and The Merry Wives of Windsor (RSC), The Nutcracker (Theatr Clwyd), Champ (Tobacco Factory Theatres), E15 (Lung Theatre, Northern Stage), The Barricade (Theatre503), Takeover – Pancake Day (Bunker Theatre), and Dolly Wants to Die (Lung Theatre, Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Underbelly Theatre). For television, his credits include Doctors and Guerrilla; and for film, SurgeHellboy, and The Current War.

Andrea Hall plays Grace. Her theatre credits include Ares (Vaults Festival), The Wild Duck (Almeida Theatre), The Notebook of Trigorin (Finborough Theatre), Hyacinth Blue (Clean Break), Talkin’ Loud (Theatre503), Abena’s Stupidest Mistake (The Drill Hall), Parting Shots (Bootleg Theatre), Large Tales (Nottingham Playhouse), The Palace of Fear (Leicester Haymarket), and Johnny Dollar (Bloomsbury Theatre). For television, her credits include UnforgottenThe Child in TimeBroadchurchFlackHumansJoe All AloneApple Tree HouseTrauma and Thirteen.

Ivan Oyik plays Riyad. His theatre credits include Blue Orange (Birmingham Rep – for which he was nominated for The Stage Debut Award for Best Actor in a Play) and Red Pitch (Ovalhouse).

James Bobin is a British screen director, writer and producer. His film credits as a director include The MuppetsMuppets Most WantedAlice Through The Looking Glass and Dora and the Lost City of Gold. For TV, his credits include Da Ali G ShowFlight of the Concords and The 11 O’Clock Show.

George Turvey co-founded Papatango in 2007 and became the sole Artistic Director in January 2013. Credits as director include Shook (Papatango, UK tour), Hanna (Papatango, UK tour), The Annihilation of Jessie Leadbeater (Papatango at ALRA), After Independence (Papatango at Arcola Theatre, 2016 Alfred Fagon Audience Award, and on BBC Radio 4), Leopoldville (Papatango at Tristan Bates Theatre), and Angel (Papatango at Pleasance London and Tristan Bates Theatre). Turvey trained as an actor at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA) and has appeared on stage and screen throughout the UK and internationally, including the lead roles in the world première of Arthur Miller’s No Villain (Old Red Lion Theatre and Trafalgar Studios) and Batman Live World Arena Tour. As a dramaturg, he has led the development of all of Papatango’s productions. He is the co-author of Being A Playwright: A Career Guide For Writers, published by Nick Hern Books.


Papatango discover and champion new playwrights, especially people who would otherwise have no pathway into theatre, through a range of grassroots opportunities – all free, open to anyone in the UK and Ireland, and anonymously assessed. Papatango’s motto is simple: all you need is a story.

Papatango’s flagship opportunity is the Papatango New Writing Prize, the UK’s biggest annual playwriting award. It attracts over 1500 entries each year from every region, and guarantees its winner a full production, publication, commission and royalties, while every entrant receives personal feedback. It is an unmatched commitment to launching brilliant new talent with maximum impact and supporting aspiring playwrights at all levels.

Winners have been evenly divided between men and women, aged from their 20s to their 50s, and 70% have been state educated. Since being launched by Papatango, they have gone on to win BAFTAs, OffWestEnd and Royal National Theatre Foundation awards, premiere in over 20 countries, and work with the RSC, National Theatre, BBC and HBO, among many other leading organisations.

As well as the Prize, Papatango offers a yearly Resident Playwright scheme, taking an emerging playwright through commissioning, development and production of a new play. Previous Residents have won an Alfred Fagon Audience Award, adapted their play for BBC Radio Four, been commissioned by Headlong, the Tricycle Theatre, and the North Wall Arts Centre, and seen their work tour nationwide with Papatango.

Papatango also run GoWrite, which each year provides completely free training in playwriting, including productions and publication, for over 3000 budding writers at state schools, regional venues and community centres. GoWrite has developed plays which have gone on to be staged at Hampstead Theatre, the Vaults Festival, Old Red Lion Theatre, Arcola Theatre, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, Luton Hat Factory and the Quarry Theatre, Bedford.

In 2019 Papatango launched WriteWest, a playwriting programme across south-west England which provides free training, performances and seed funding for hundreds of grassroots writers and producers in this critically under-served region.

Within 12 hours of the theatre shutdown in 2020, Papatango launched Isolated But Open, a programme to nurture creativity and support freelancers bearing the brunt of the pandemic. It inspired 2063 new plays, producing and publishing 12 of these in free digital incarnations which have since been enshrined in the British Library’s permanent archive as a nationally significant cultural achievement.

Papatango’s first book, Being A Playwright: A Career Guide for Writers, was published in autumn 2018 by Nick Hern Books. It topped Amazon’s best-seller list in the playwriting category, and has been described as a “phenomenon for playwriting good…a bible for playwrights” by Steve Waters and “enlightening…an excellent tool for playwrights” by Indhu Rubasingham.

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