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The Shark is Broken set to surface at Edinburgh Fringe

Robert Shaw’s son explores his father’s relationships whilst shooting seminal thriller JAWS.

The Shark is Broken
The Shark is Broken

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat…”

JAWS, Martha’s Vineyard 1974: Three iconic actors, Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss, are tortuously confined together on the Orca while filming, enduring endless delays, studio politics, foul weather and a constantly broken mechanical shark called Bruce.

Conversation deteriorates into actor insecurities, competing egos, petty rivalry and excess alcohol consumption.

Directed by Guy Masterson and written by Joseph Nixon and Ian Shaw (Robert Shaw’s son) inspired by his father’s diaries, this hilarious world premiere offers startling insights into the backstage Hollywood truths behind one of the greatest blockbusters of all time.

“The play humorously reveals the true relationships, the secret clashes and intrigues behind the legendary movie”, explains Ian Shaw.

But stepping into his father’s shoes has been no easy task:

“I have tried to approach it in the way he might have done, honestly but with respect. I have a more peaceful understanding of him from having researched it. I hope the audience can see themselves in the characters, flawed but with great qualities. I know I can…”

The Shark is Broken is at Assembly George Square Studios – Studio Three from 2nd to 25th August 2019. Tickets cost £10. Book online at or call the Box Office on 0131 623 3030.

Read our exclusive interview with Ian Shaw as we discuss working with Mark Rylance, coping with a mechanical shark which refused to bite and whether his dad should have won an Oscar as Quint in JAWS.


Watch Ian Shaw’s rehearsal as Quint, the role his father originated in JAWS:


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