Last Updated on 21. October 2021

Today’s episode of Meet the Londoner with director Guy Masterson, who is currently on stage in London with the play “The Shark is Broken”.

Guy Masterson from The Shark is Broken

Guy, please introduce yourself briefly

My name is Guy Masterson. I am technically Welsh/Italian/American, but I grew up predominantly in London, so I think of myself as a Welsh actor/director/writer/producer. My career has been almost entirely theatre based – with a few forays into TV and film and the occasional commercial – most famously in Germany as the `Franziskaner Mönch’ since 2007. I have a degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry which is not generally the qualifications you require for a career in theatre, but the modicum of science that I have retained particularly in logic, deduction and problem solving has helped my directing career enormously.

I live just outside London with my German photographer wife of nearly 23 years, Brigitta, and we have two beautiful girls, Indigo and Tallulah.

About The Shark is Broken

What’s the play all about?

“The Shark”- as we call it – is the real backstage story of the three iconic stars behind Steven Spielberg’s classic blockbuster Jaws, co-written by and starring Ian Shaw playing his father Robert – who played Captain Quint, the crazy shark hunter! Due to delays caused by constant mechanical failures with the famous robotic Shark, nicknamed ‘Bruce’ they had to endure several extra months of filming while using the Orca, Quint’s boat, as their greenroom. Tensions mounted.

Why should we visit?

The story of the backstage feud between Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss is legendary, and this is dramatized hilariously in the play using events that did actually happen, so it works for theatre lovers as well as Jaws fans.

If someone hasn’t seen the Jaws, can they still make sense of the play?

Absolutely. Far more important to Ian Shaw than the obvious commercial angles of the project – Jaws, son-playing-father-reincarnating-Captain-Quint – were the artistic merits of the story, so he asked his friend, playwright Jo Nixon to join him in his quest to make the play far more than the sum of its parts.

You are an actor yourself, why didn’t you choose one of the leading roles yourself?

Simply because I don’t resemble any of the iconic characters in the film or the play and I’m far too old! Plus, the casting was not my choice.

Your play will open on the 9th of October and will run for 14 weeks only. What will happen afterwards? Are you planning to show it on other stages?

We’ll see how it runs in London. If it’s as successful as we all dream it will be, who knows… maybe the Great White Way… which will be rather poetic.

Will we see a shark on stage?

Certainly not a real one or a robotic one… but who knows… you might see a fin swimming off into the sunset.

Guy Masterson about London

What’s a must-see sight in London?

I like The Shard…I love the way it looks on the skyline and it has some great stuff going on up top!

What’s your favourite area of London?

I like the parks and open spaces. In Central London, St James’ Park. just outside the centre, Hampstead Heath.

3 words to describe London

Greatest World City

The best musical/play in London is:

Apart from the Shark Is Broken it’s Harry Potter.

The coolest bar is…

The Criterion, Piccadilly Circus

The Shark is broken on social media

The play is currently running at the Ambassadors Theatre in London. Find out more on the website of The Shark is broken website, on Twitter (@shark_broken), Instagram (@shark_broken) and Facebook (@TheSharkisBroken).

Thank you, Guy, for the interview and good luck with the play! And thanks to your wonderful wife Brigitta for taking the photos for me. 

This post is also available in: Deutsch