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.

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

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: Helen Maybanks/Matt Hodges

ThickSkin is working with Signature Chef Leon Aarts to present Supper Club Compassion, a unique dining experience that encourages connectivity and compassion through sharing of stories of migration. How Not To Drown bookers will receive a £5 discount.


  • 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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