Shady Business

by  Robin Hawdon

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  5m, 2f

"Packed with high-energy and mad comedy that rarely takes a breath until its side-splitting conclusion.'' - Door County Advocate

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Shady Business

by  Robin Hawdon

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    5m, 2f
  • Duration


    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre


  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info


Produced many times around the UK and Europe.  The recent Paris production at the Theatre Michodiere saw the play relocated to the Pigale area of Paris with great success. The production was televised for French TV.

Mandy and Tania are sexy but struggling nightclub dancers living in the heart of London's Soho nightlife, and they face a crisis. Will possessive club owner Big Mack find out about Mandy's affair with Gerry and Tania's affair with Terry, and set his sidekicks on them? Will he discover that he is owed money that was borrowed from his club's till, then gambled and lost on the club's roulette table, and then stolen back from the club's takings? Will Gerry be discovered hiding in Mandy's bathroom? Will Terry be rumbled delivering the dinner? Will Terry reveal that he is really Gerry and that Gerry is Terry? Will anyone figure out what the hell is going on, and will they all survive until the curtain comes down? The action doesn't slow down from beginning to end in this madcap farce which has already played in many theatres in Europe and America.

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"If the cheers and laughter of the audience on the first night are anything to go by, the Mill at Sonning has programmed another winner.... the comic twists and turns are side-splitting.... as in any good farce - and this is a very goodone - they are well worth the effort in following." - Oxford Times

"The Mill At Sonning has picked a winner with its British premiere of Shady Business, a hilarious comedy set in the London underworld.... the play takes off from the first moment, and the pace never flags.... the first night audience was laughing throughout the performance and greeted the ending with a storm of rapturous applause." - Maidenhead Advertiser

"Shady Business is the funniest production I have seen at the Mill, and the audience was roaring with laughter from start to finish.... Full of mixed identities and barmy plots, the play was riveting and kept the audience guessing until the very end." - Wokingham Times

"...packed with high energy and mad comedy that rarely takes a breath.... it never stops until its side-splitting conclusion." - USA - Door County Advocate

"...produces big surprises that delight and astonish.... built for a light and fun night at the theatre... a sort of 'Sopranos' with laughing gas." - Green Bay Gazette


Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage


  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance



  • Time Period: Contemporary
  • Duration: More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: The main living room of a smart London studio apartment. The play can easily be relocated to a different country/city if required.
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


5m, 2f
MANDY - a night-club dancer
GERRY - her boy-friend
TANIA - another dancer
TERRY - a lad-about-town
BIG MACK - a gang boss
DOZER - his side-kick
HARRY TIIE HAMMER - a loan shark
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Robin Hawdon

Robin Hawdon British playwright especially known for the popularity of his comedies. Mr. Hawdon’s plays are amongst the most frequently produced around the world – his name is as well known abroad as in his native Great Britain. Many of his plays are published by Samuel French. Over recent years his plays have app ...

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Shady Business was first presented in the USA by the Peninsular Players in Wisconsin, by The Mill at Sonning Dinner Theatre in the UK, and at Theatre Michodiere in Paris.

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