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By Samuel Bailey
Imprint: Nick Hern Books
Paperback : 9781848428942, 96 pages, October 2019


  • Winner, Papatango New Writing Prize 2019


Instead of GCSEs, Cain, Riyad and Jonjo got sentences. Locked up in a young offender 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, Samuel Bailey's Shook is a tender and honest play examining the young men society shuts away. It was premiered by Papatango at Southwark Playhouse, London, in October 2019, followed by a UK tour.


"One of the most important theatrical debuts of the decade."


"A delicate and deliberately paced character study... the dialogue is bitterly funny... a moving and absorbing piece of work."

- The Stage

"A fantastic debut... boy it punches home."

- Thomas Sutcliffe, Saturday Review, BBC Radio 4

"An entertaining and thought-provoking piece of theatre."

- Broadway World

"Both laugh-out-loud funny and brutally honest, catching you off-guard with touching moments when you least expect it... funny, down-to-earth, and with a lot to say."

- WhatsOnStage