How Not To Drown

World premiere | A ThickSkin and Traverse Theatre Company production, co-produced with Tron Theatre and Lawrence Batley Theatre By Nicola McCartney & Dritan Kastrati
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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.

Painful, yet 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 (Chalk Farm, The Static) returns to the stage with an action packed, highly visual production.

Winner: 2019 Scotsman Fringe First award
Winner: 2019 Herald Angel award

Part of the Made in Scotland 2019 showcase.
Commissioned by ThickSkin and Lawrence Batley Theatre.
Supported by November Productions, Citizens Theatre. Developed with support from Tron Theatre and The University of Edinburgh.
Supported by Creative Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council.

Image: Mihaela Bodlovic

★★★★★ Scotsman
★★★★.5 The Reviews Hub
★★★★ The Sunday Times
★★★★ Edinburgh Festivals Magazine
★★★★ What's On Stage
★★★★ The Wee Review
★★★★ The Herald
★★★★ Three Weeks


  • WritersNicola McCartney & Dritan Kastrati
  • Director & ChoreographerNeil Bettles
  • DesignerBecky Minto
  • Co-choreographerJonnie Riordan
  • Lighting DesignerZoe Spurr
  • Composer & Sound DesignerAlexandra Faye Braithwaite

Behind the Scenes

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