Hoke’s Bluff

Hoke’s Bluff borrows high school storylines, inspiring locker room speeches and sentimentality to tell an underdog story that’s been told a million times before. Shifting and re-arranging the trite conventions and narratives of American teen movies to find new meanings in old clichés, Hoke’s Bluff attempts a heartfelt and sincere rendition of its schmaltzy source material whilst revealing both the ambient violence and the genuine beauty that hides within these seemingly innocuous cornball stories.

Hoke’s Bluff was first performed in 2013. It was performed throughout the UK, and in Athens, Lisbon and Melbourne and was included in the British Council’s 2013 Edinburgh Showcase. Hoke’s Bluff was included in a list of best shows of the 21st century, as compiled by young writers for The Guardian. It was last performed in 2017.

Hoke’s Bluff features in Action Hero’s book, Action Plans: Selected Performance Pieces and is available to buy from our shop. A full video of the show with commentary is also available to purchase. Big time Wildcats fans can also buy team t-shirts, badges, posters and Coach’s secret playbook. 

To see Hokes Bluff’s previous touring dates, see our Archive

“a delirious pleasure”


“deeply evocative”


“the key to this show’s success is that it is all done with love. A very clever piece of theatre; a cracking night out”

Total Theatre

“inventive, laugh out loud funny”

Time Out

︎︎︎ Press
︎︎︎ Writings

︎︎︎ Action Hero shop


photos by Gregory Lorezutti, Paul Blakemore and Ludovic Des Cognets

Created and written by Gemma Paintin and James Stenhouse with Nick Walker
Performed by Gemma Paintin and James Stenhouse with Laura Dannequin
Dramaturgy: Deborah Pearson
Lighting design: Jo Palmer
Production Manager: Anna Barrett
Producer for Action Hero: Mel Scaffold

Hoke’s Bluff was co-produced by China Plate and Warwick Arts Centre and co-commissioned by Bristol Old Vic Ferment. Funded during development and touring by Arts Council England.