The Shark is Broken Tickets
The Shark is Broken: What to expect - 1
The Shark is Broken: What to expect - 2

The Shark is Broken Tickets

The misadventures of Bruce the shark, and his attempts to sink Jaws.
The Shark is Broken: What to expect - 1
The Shark is Broken: What to expect - 2
The Shark is Broken Tickets

About The Shark is Broken

Martha’s Vineyard, 1974: shooting on ‘Jaws’ has stalled. The film’s lead actors – Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss – are stuck on a boat, at the mercy of foul weather and a faulty mechanical co-star. Awash with alcohol and ambition, three hammered sharks start to bare their teeth…

Ian Shaw (War Horse and Common, National Theatre) stars as his father Robert Shaw. He is joined by Liam Murray Scott as Richard Dreyfuss (reprising the role he performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019), and Demetri Goritsas (ear for eye, Royal Court; Black Mirror, Netflix) as Roy Scheider.

Directed by Guy Masterson, THE SHARK IS BROKEN reveals the hilarious behind-the-scenes drama on one of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters. After a sell-out, critically acclaimed premiere at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe, Ian Shaw and Joseph Nixon’s brilliantly funny must end its run on 13 February – don’t miss it.

Recommended for ages 12+ Running time 1 Hour 10 Minutes (No Interval)

Run time

90 minutes without interval

Start date

9th October, 2021

End date

13th February, 2022




The Shark is Broken: What to expect - 1
The Shark is Broken: What to expect - 2

The Shark is Broken cast and creative team

By: Ian Shaw and Joseph Nixon
Songs by: Adam Cork
Director: Guy Masterson
Cast list: Ian Shaw, Demetri Goritsas, Liam Murray Scott
Design: Duncan Henderson
Lighting: Neil Austin & Jamie Platt
Costume: Duncan Anderson
Sound: Adam Cork


West Street, London, United Kingdom, WC2H 9ND


Location: West End
Railway station: Charing Cross
Bus numbers: (Charing Cross Road) 14, 19, 38, 24, 29, 176
Night bus numbers: (Charing Cross Road) 14, 24, 176, N5, N19, N29, N38, N41, N279
Car park: Chinatown (5mins)
Directions from tube: (5mins) Take Cranbourn Street away from Leicester Square until St Martin’s Lane, where you head left up to West Street. The theatre’s on your left past St Martin’s Theatre.

More information about The Shark is Broken

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water… Here comes a play with a ferocious bite, all about the making of one of the most iconic blockbusters of all time: Steven Spielberg’s Jaws. Book The Shark is Broken tickets now for its West End run — if you dare.

Go behind the scenes of Jaws with this revealing new play, which made a real splash at the Edinburgh Festival in 2019 and now comes to London’s Ambassadors Theatre. It’s the brainchild of Ian Shaw, son of Jaws film star Robert Shaw, who got a first-hand look at how the drama off-camera came to rival the gripping drama on film.

The Shark is Broken play is set in 1974, as Spielberg attempted to capture his thrilling tale of a great white shark terrorising the inhabitants of Amity Island. But the movie relied on the use of mechanical sharks — and they just kept malfunctioning, ballooning the budget and grinding the shoot to a halt.

That meant Robert Shaw and co-stars Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss were stranded on the Atlantic Ocean for hours, subject to increasingly terrible weather. Inevitably, that led to arguments between them, exacerbated by Shaw’s alcoholism. Join the trio on their boat, the Orca, for an unforgettable ride: The Shark is Broken London run is now on sale.

This fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the famous blockbuster is co-written by Ian Shaw and Joseph Nixon. Shaw plays his father, Robert, a role he will be reprising in The Shark is Broken West End production. Guy Masterson directs and Sonia Friedman produces this encore run of a show that the team knew was gonna need a bigger theatre.

Book your The Shark is Broken tickets now and dive into a tale that blends backstage comedy and thriller with existential drama.

What to Watch For

  • The Jaws shoot used three different pneumatically powered prop sharks: a sea-sled shark, which had a full shark’s body with just its belly missing and could be towed with a 300ft line; and two platform sharks, which had just one side of the shark each, and could move left to right and vice versa. All were nicknamed Bruce after Steven Spielberg’s lawyer, Bruce Ramer.
  • The Jaws models, designed by art director Joe Alves, all operated successfully in the workshop testing - but that was in controlled conditions and using fresh water. Once they were out in the ocean, seawater interfered with the pneumatic hoses, the sea-sled shark got tangled up in seaweed, and the neoprene foam used for the sharks’ skin soaked up liquid and made the sharks swell.
  • Ian Shaw used first-hand accounts when writing his script, such as The Jaws Log by Carl Gottlieb, the Jaws screenwriter, and his own father’s diaries. Shaw was 47 when he began developing the play: the same age as Robert was when he was making the film.
  • The Jaws shoot was infamously dicey. The Orca once began to sink with the actors on board, Gottlieb almost had his head taken off by the boat’s propellers, Dreyfuss got stuck in the steel cage, and he and Shaw developed a furious feud.
  • And yet, miraculously, Jaws was a monster hit. Spielberg had to keep the shark mostly out of view because of all the filming difficulties, but that made it more scary: an unseen force. It was also the first real summer blockbuster - a phenomenon that the actors discuss in Shaw’s play as they ponder what it means to make commercial art.


Unfortunately, tickets for this event are no longer available.

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