How Not To Drown at Oldham Coliseum

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor
How Not To Drown at Oldham Coliseum
Image courtesy of Tommy Ga-Ken Wan.

How Not To Drown at Oldham Coliseum, Manchester 23 — 25 March 2023 Tickets from £7.00 — Book now

Manchester-based theatre mavericks ThickSkin bring their heroic and highly visual multi award-winning production to Oldham Coliseum. How Not To Drown tells the brutal, though uplifting, real-life story of an eleven year-old unaccompanied asylum-seeker.

Dritan Kastrati was just nine years old when he witnessed the bloodshed of the Kosovan War. His parents – so desperate to save their family from the violence and death around them – paid for their sons, Alfred and Dritan, to be smuggled into Britain.

How Not To Drown at Oldham Coliseum
Image courtesy of Tommy Ga-Ken Wan.

How Not To Drown tells the true story of Dritan’s journey across the Adriatic, with a gang of people smugglers, to build a new life in Europe. In 2002, in the aftermath of the Kosovan War, the young asylum-seeker has to rely on his boyish charisma and sharp wit to survive the crossing to the UK. Once he arrives on British soil, his fight continues as he finds himself navigating the British care system, struggling to retain his identity and sense of self.

Harrowing, hopeful and powerfully performed.

Harrowing, hopeful and powerfully performed, How Not To Drown is the story of a little child who was not safe or welcome anywhere in the world. Perhaps what makes this production so poignant is that Dritan Kastrati himself performs as part of the talented ensemble. Fast-paced and utterly compelling, a cast of five play more than 30 characters between them, transporting the audience from intimate spaces to the vast ocean. Dynamic physical storytelling, an adaptive set and an enveloping soundscape all serve to tell this vital and important story.

ThickSkin are well-known for nurturing emerging talent – it’s one of the reasons we’re huge fans of their work.

ThickSkin are well-known for nurturing emerging talent – it’s one of the reasons we’re huge fans of their work. Most interestingly, the company first met Dritan through a theatre training programme for young people over thirteen years ago. Following a period of mentoring and support with the company, ThickSkin were able to offer Dritan a platform to tell his story – as co-writer of How Not To Drown, his first stage play. Directed by Neil Bettles, the play has been crafted from 60 hours of recorded interviews between Dritan and co-writer Nicola McCartney, who is also a foster carer.

How Not To Drown at Oldham Coliseum
Image courtesy of Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

Of How Not To Drown, Dritan told us, “This is my story, but it could be anyone’s. Just for one second imagine there is a war happening in the UK now, which direction would you run for safety? It would be awful. British families fleeing, children separated from their parents. But it’s happening every day across the world. It happened to me. I wanted to share my story, in my own words, as a child coming to the UK alone. It’s a story we don’t usually hear about asylum seekers. It’s not a sad story, actually, parts of it are pretty funny, but it is truthful and sometimes painful.”

Opens the eyes of an audience to the experiences of those who seek asylum in the UK.

Recommended for ages 14+, this arresting, urgent and poetic piece of theatre was a huge success at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019. Shining a light on an important social issue of our time, How Not To Drown opens the eyes of an audience to the experiences of those who seek asylum in the UK.

 

Oldham Coliseum Theatre has announced the cancellation of events from April onwards. This production of How Not To Drown is still going ahead at the Coliseum as planned.

How Not To Drown at Oldham Coliseum, Manchester 23 — 25 March 2023 Tickets from £7.00 Book now

Performances

Date
Time
Session Features
23 March 2023
7:30pm — 10:00pm
24 March 2023
7:30pm — 10:00pm
25 March 2023
2:30pm — 4:00pm
25 March 2023
7:30pm — 10:00pm

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

Where to go near How Not To Drown at Oldham Coliseum

Oldham
Event venue
Hack Oldham

Hack Oldham is an event space that also offers co-working, community groups and crafting in the heart of Oldham.

Gallery Oldham, in Oldham Cultural Quarter
Manchester
Museum
Gallery Oldham

Gallery Oldham provides a wide range of exhibitions and activities targeted at different audiences of all ages within Oldham and the surrounding area.

The Yoga Seed Oldham
Manchester
The Yoga Seed Oldham

The Yoga Seed is an intimate studio just outside of Oldham town centre. Run by Sharon it offers small classes including a men only class.

Liverpool
Hotel
Epic Apart Hotel

The Epic Apart Hotel offers 14 serviced apartments – and is bang-slap in the middle of the Ropewalks district, right behind FACT.

Theatre
Middleton Arena

The Arena has a regular programme of arts and entertainment including live music, concerts, comedy and dances with stage shows and national tours. With two licensed bars this is the perfect location for a great night out.

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