ThickSkin and Traverse Theatre Company present
How Not To Drown

11th - 14th September 2019

A painful yet uplifting true story of a child asylum-seeker arriving in the UK, told by the man he is now.

“I don’t know why my Dad let me go... I was too young, too weak, to make this journey. I wouldn’t have sent me… He wouldn’t have sent me unless there was a reason.”

In 2002, in the turmoil after the end of the Kosovan War, Dritan is sent on the notoriously perilous journey across the Adriatic with a gang of people smugglers to a new life in Europe. He relies on his young wit and charm to make it to the UK. But the fight for survival continues as he clings to his identity and sense of self when he ends up in the British Care system. Hilarious, painful and uplifting, How Not to Drown shares a story of endurance for a little kid who wasn’t safe or welcome anywhere in the world.

Award-winning theatre company, ThickSkin, returns to the stage with an action packed, highly visual production.

A ThickSkin and Traverse Theatre Company production, co-produced with Tron Theatre and Lawrence Batley Theatre. Commissioned by ThickSkin and Lawrence Batley Theatre. Supported by November Productions and Citizens Theatre. Part of Made in Scotland 2019. Developed with support from Creative Scotland, Tron Theatre and University of Edinburgh.

Cast: Ajjaz Awad, Esme Bayley, Daniel Cahill, Reuben Joseph, Dritan Kastrati 

Written by Nicola McCartney & Dritan Kastrati
Director: Neil Bettles
Design & Costume: Becky Minto
Sound: Alexandra Faye Braithwaite
Lighting: Zoe Spurr
Co-choreography: Jonnie Riordan

Note: Contains violence, strong language and strobe lighting.

Image: Photography-Helen Maybanks/Design-Matt Hodges


'truly stunning' ***** The Scotsman 

'an extraordinary story' The Guardian 

'…its power springs from its absolute authenticity' **** What’s On Stage 

'fluently told and shocking in its straightforward account' **** Sunday Times 

'a triumph from beginning to end...This is truly something not to be missed.' ****1/2 ReviewsHub 

'a heroic evocation of human triumph' **** The Herald 

'The staging is as turbulent and as knife-edge as Kastrati’s life itself.' **** EdFest Mag 

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