In 2017, Ian Shaw, son of Robert Shaw from the classic, Jaws stumbled across a diary written by his Dad. Ian had taken after his farther and explored an acting career and realised that his resemblance to Robert was uncanny. Donning a moustache for a play he was working on at the time mirrored the character of Quint which gave Ian an idea. He was going to write a play about the signature story behind the scenes of the infamous Jaws movie. He did just that!
Ian pitched the idea to David Mounfield and Duncan Henderson, who both thought the idea would be a perfect fit for the Edinburgh Film Festival. He spoke to Joe Nixon, a writer friend to help him pull the play together and out of that ‘The Shark is Broken’ was born.
Ian Shaw, Liam Murray Scott and Demetri Goritsas act alongside each other as Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss and Roy Scheider in a funny, unexpected and quite frankly marvellous 90 minute play portraying how acting on the set of Jaws may have played out.
So much about the original Jaws film is wonderful. The animatronic sharks, of which there were three that relentlessly malfunctioned during filming. The dynamic crew that moved to various locations to capture different scenes in the script. The budget that was vastly over budget and spent on several things that didn’t work or prove to be reliable including ‘Bruce’ the great white. In fact rather than fear from a realistic looking, scary shark, much of the movies angst was created by the human imagination filling the gaps. After spending huge chunks of budget on fake sharks it was clear that the most terrifying shark was actually one that you never saw.
Jaws is a film that I watched as a teenager and have watched over and over ever since. Being able to go and see a different version of its events on stage in a beautiful theatre was just incredible. The simple set, absolutely brilliant stage presence of characters and ridiculous similarity to the real actors who shot Jaws is more than worth a look.
The West End Theatre, built in 1913 is one of the only remaining, untouched venues in London. After a tricky period being closed due to COVID 19, the theatre opened its doors to patrons to view, ‘The Shark is Broken’ and what a play to re-open with.
The mystery of the ocean and its creatures will always make a good film script because it is enthralling to all sorts of people. You don’t need to be a diver or marine biologist to love these types of films or plays but their sea theme and wonder encapsulates you because the unknown will always interest us.
Check out this play! It is an absolute must!