How Not To Drown
26 January – 11 February 2023
Theatre Royal Stratford East
Award-winning theatre company, ThickSkin, returns to the stage with an action-packed, highly visual production telling the painful yet uplifting true story of an 11-year-old unaccompanied asylum-seeker.
“I don’t know why my Dad let me go, especially when he knew how dangerous, how hard it was… 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.
How Not to Drown shares a story of endurance for a kid who wasn’t safe or welcome anywhere in the world, performed by an ensemble cast starring Dritan Kastrati himself.
Commissioned by ThickSkin and Lawrence Batley Theatre.