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Ian Shaw bears a striking resemblance to father Robert in Jaws play

Ian Shaw bears a striking resemblance to his father Robert’s Jaws character Quint in new play The Shark Is Broken about the famously troubled production of the 1975 film

  • The show named The Shark Is Broken stars Ian Shaw who plays his own dad Robert who starred as Quint in the original film
  • Ian bears a remarkable likeness to how his father looked in the film, sporting side burns, a brown hat and dishevelled hair
  • The show will offer a glimpse at the strained relationship between the three stars of Steven Spielberg’s 1975 film
  • Jaws was notoriously difficult to make, with the film going over budget and production running behind schedule 

A new play about the famously troubled production of Jaws has just opened in London’s West End.

The show named The Shark Is Broken stars Ian Shaw who plays his own dad Robert who starred as Quint in the original film.

Ian bears a remarkable likeness to how his father looked in the film in images released of the show, sporting side burns, a brown hat and dishevelled hair.   


Uncanny: Ian Shaw (left) bears a striking resemblance to his father Robert (right) starring as his character Quint in new play The Shark Is Broken about the famously troubled production of Jaws

The play attracted five-star reviews when it premiered in Edinburgh in 2019 and is now being brought to the West End.

It will offer a glimpse at the strained relationship between the three stars of Steven Spielberg’s 1975 film – Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss and Roy Scheider. 

Jaws was notoriously difficult to make, with the film going over budget and production running behind schedule.

Exciting: The new play (pictured during photocall) about the famously troubled production of Jaws is coming to London’s West End

Scary: Roy Scheider as Brody, Robert Shaw as Quint and Richard Dreyfuss as Hooper are pictured in Jaws

In addition, the mechanical sharks they used to film scenes frequently broke down – something which inspired the play’s title.

The delays and technical difficulties often meant that the three main actors were waiting around for long periods of time on set, which is when tensions would run high. 

Ian Shaw said of the play: ‘For the people who work in film and are interested in film, it is a legendary story. 

Classic film: Robert Shaw is pictured as Quint in the 1975 film. He died in 1978

‘In documentaries they’ve done about the making of Jaws, Steven Spielberg speaks quite candidly about it, as does Richard Dreyfuss.

‘We went through the source material and did as much research as we could – documentaries, press clippings, books, anything we could find. My own family have stories, my step-mother Virginia particularly, because she was there.’

In the classic film Jaws, a young woman is killed by a shark while skinny-dipping near the New England tourist town of Amity Island.

Police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) wants to close the beaches, but mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) overrules him, fearing that the loss of tourist revenue will cripple the town. 

New show: The Shark is Broken is running at The Ambassadors Theatre in London

Ichthyologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and grizzled ship captain Quint (Robert Shaw) offer to help Brody capture the killer beast, and the trio engage in an epic battle of man versus nature. 

The feud between Dreyfus and Shaw is well known, with Shaw often mock Dreyfuss on set as he thought he didn’t have enough acting experience to play the part. 

In a 2010 interview Dreyfuss spoke about Jaws and the on-set feud with Shaw.

Plot: In the classic film Jaws, a young woman is killed by a shark while skinny-dipping near the New England tourist town of Amity Island

He told Bio.com: ‘In private, he was the kindest, gentlest, funniest guy you ever met. Then we’d walk to the set, and on the way to the set, he was possessed by some evil troll who would then make me his victim.’

In turn Dreyfuss described him as a man who both intimidated and exhilarated him.

He said: ‘I liked him, and I hated him, and he had my number.’ He added that Shaw ‘made me doubt that I could do things I knew I could do.’ 

Scheider recalled in the 2010 documentary Jaws: The Inside Story: ‘[Shaw] really thought Dreyfuss needed a slapping down, [that he was a] young punk with no stage experience.

Battle: In Jaws, Police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) wants to close the beaches, but mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) overrules him, fearing that the loss of tourist revenue will cripple the town

‘But it was also Quint and Hooper living out that relationship as Shaw and Dreyfuss. 

‘Robert would basically humiliate Richard into taking a chance. For instance, Robert would say, ‘I’ll give you a hundred bucks if you climb up to the top of the mast on the Orca and jump off into the water.” 

Ian Shaw was a child when his father died in 1978, but he hopes the show, which is directed by Guy Masterson and co-written with Joseph Nixon, captures him fairly. 

He said: ‘A couple of my sisters have seen the play, he had 10 children in the end, and they, to my relief, gave me the thumbs-up.’ 

The Shark is Broken is running at The Ambassadors Theatre in London. 

Production: Ian Shaw, Demetri Goritas and Liam Murray Scott play the three main parts in the new play

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