The Shark is Open!

The Shark Is Broken, Ambassador’s Theatre, London starring: Ian Shaw, Liam Murray Scott, Dimitri Goritsas

 Written by Ian Shaw and Joseph Nixon and Directed by Guy Masterson 

📸 Helen Maybanks

The Shark Is Broken – a play describing the relationships of the three main (human) characters inthe 1975 hit movie, Jaws – has opened in the West End to glowing reviews.

Nina Dunn has designed the video for the show, which consists of an ever-evolving immersive seascape that suppports the action within Duncan Henderson’s detailed recreation of the famous Orca used in the film.

Photo: Nina Dunn (during the shooting of the show trailer)

We were overwhelmed by lovely mentions in the press: it’s very rare that Video Design is so well recognised – so have gathered a selction below. The Video Design has also been nominated for a WhatsOnStage award – one of the few in existence that recognises the discipline. You can find out more and vote here:

Did you know: all of the seascapes running hrough the 90 minute show were created using just four custom 3D water simulations and then treated and combined with other elements to reflect weather, time of day and other events that help or hunder the action in the story.

Also, due to the shape of the cyc, you will either percieve a predominantly straight horizon line or a curved one more like what you would see when using a wide-angled lens depending on where you sit in the theatre. We tried to optimise both experiences to give everyone a great experience wherever they sit.

The rig consisted of four Panasonic projectors and a disgusie media server.

The only fear I had was that the play – co-scripted with Joseph Nixon – might look stranded on a London stage, even a small one. It premiered in a dry and dusty lecture hall, which didn’t exactly point the way forward to a red-carpet event.

In the interim, though, the production, directed by Guy Masterson, has brought in wizard video specialist Nina Dunn to work alongside set designer Duncan Henderson. The result is the magical transformation of the replica ship’s cabin where Robert Shaw is holed up with co-stars Richard Dreyfuss (who played Hooper) and Roy Scheider (police chief Brody), as dummy shark malfunctions protract the shoot off Martha’s Vineyard. Now, the claustrophobic core scenario is surrounded by a spellbinding, constantly heaving projected seascape that curves to a far horizon, with the sky an additional mutable delight, complete with passing gulls and even ships.“

It’s a theatrical-cinematic stroke of genius. Just as the sea, and the threat within in, is a lurking dramatis persona in the 1975 film, so the background against which the three men bicker, bond and – in Shaw’s case – booze like there’s no tomorrow, affords a silent running commentary on the nature of their existence.

The Telegraph – ★★★★

The passage of time is beautifully delineated by striking video design work by Nina Dunn

WhatsOnStage – ★★★★

Designers Duncan Henderson (set) and Nina Dunn (video) brilliantly transport us to the cabin of Quint’s leaky, scarcely seaworthy tub the Orca, afloat on a twinkling ocean that laps at its bows, while gulls soar across vast skies by day and shooting stars glitter by night: it’s an illusion worthy of the silver screen, the water so real-looking and inviting that you want to splash about in it.


Their isolation is beautifully realised by video designer Nina Dunn’s mesmerising ocean cyclorama.

The Stage – ★★★★

Nina Dunn’s gorgeous video projections give us a huge sky that shifts with the weather or time of day, while seagulls swoop and dive, as well as water lapping at the boat and heaving waves so convincing that I started to feel seasick.

Broadway World – ★★★★

Designer Duncan Henderson has created such a believable set (helped by Nina Dunn’s extraordinary video design) that you believe you really are in the filming location.

The Reviews Hub – ★★★★

Duncan Henderson’s design splits a replica of the boat from the movie from deck to keel, as if with a can opener, to give us ringside seats.

Even more stunning is Nina Dunn’s panoramic video projection of the Atlantic, complete with gulls, fog, sunsets and stars — and waves lapping at the boat’s hull.

Daily Mail – ★★★★

Guy Masterson’s production also boasts […] astounding oceanic video design by Nina Dunn

Terri Paddock

And here’s a massive shout out to the team:

The set without projection or lighting (top) and with examples of night and day scenes

Set Design – Duncan Henderson

Video Design – Nina Dunn

Lighting Design – Jon Clark

Sound Design and Original composition – Adam Cork

Production Video Engineer – Harrison Cooke

Video Engineer – Beth Thompson

Video Programmer – Luigi Sardi

3D Animators – Christopher Johnstone, Mathew Brown

2D Animator, Compositor – Nina Dunn 😉

DSM – Kim Battistini

Stage Manager – Graham Michael

Production Manager – Tom Nickson

Equipment Supplier – Blue-i

Producer – Sonia Friedman Productions

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