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Post-show events for HOW NOT TO DROWN announced, including a special panel discussion hosted by Deborah Frances-White

We’re excited to share details of new post-show events for HOW NOT TO DROWN taking place in February.

Following the evening performance on Tue 07 Feb, Deborah Frances-White (comedian, screenwriter, and creator of The Guilty Feminist) will host a panel discussion with Steve Ali (writer, performer, and Syrian refugee) and Nicola McCartney (co-writer of the show and social theatre practitioner).

This is in addition to the previously announced talk with the show’s star and co-writer Dritan Kastrati, and director Neil Bettles, which will take place after the show on Wed 01 Feb.

Wed 01 Feb
With Dritan Kastrati and Neil Bettles
Book tickets to the performance

Tue 07 Feb
Hosted by Deborah Frances-White
Panel members: Steve Ali and Nicola McCartney
Book tickets to the performance


Deborah Frances-White
Deborah is a stand-up comedian, podcaster, screenwriter and corporate speaker, best known for her hugely successful global podcast The Guilty Feminist. Deborah also works closely with Help Refugees raising funds and awareness and is an official Amnesty International UK Ambassador. She took in Syrian refugee Steve Ali – ‘Three and a half years ago Steve Ali, a Syrian refugee came to mind my cats for three weeks, now he’s as much family to me as anyone in the world.'

Steve Ali
Steve Ali is a silversmith, writer, performer & model. He fled Syria as a university student and spent five years displaced making the dangerous journey to safety. He has been in London five years & has a jewellery company called Road From Damascus in Dalston.

Nicola McCartney
Co-writer of HOW NOT TO DROWN, Nicola McCartney is a playwright, director and dramaturg. She is also a social theatre practitioner and has worked with all sorts of groups including people within the criminal justice system in the UK and USA, asylum seekers and refugees, drug users, and survivors of domestic violence and childhood abuse.

Dritan Kastrati
Dritan graduated from Frantic Assembly’s Ignition Company and was awarded a BBC Performing Arts Fund Bursary. For ThickSkin: How Not to Drown (with Traverse Theatre, 2019) and Bring Your Own. Other theatre credits include: Othello (Frantic Assembly). Film credits: Kraven The Hunter (Marvel, release due 2023); The Swimmers (Netflix); All the Devil’s Men (Netflix); Pit Stop Mafia; Elvis Walks Home (dir. Fatmir Koçi). TV credits include: Houdini & Doyle (ITV); Hooten & the Lady; Stan Lee’s Lucky Man and Agatha Raisin Season 3 (Sky One); Hidden Season 3 (BBC); My Lady Jane (Amazon). Dritan won a Herald Angel award for his performance in How Not To Drown in 2019 and won Best Lead Actor at the International Film Festival Awards for Elvis Walks Home in 2016.

Neil Bettles
Neil is a Theatre Director, Choreographer and Movement Director. Recent work includes: Movement Director for James IV, Queen Of The Fight, (Raw Material and Capital Theatres) Scottish tour 2022; Choreographer for Disney’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks, UK and Ireland tour 21/22; Movement Director for Private Peaceful, UK tour 2022. As co-founder and Artistic Director of ThickSkin, his directing credits include How Not To Drown, Chalk Farm, The Static, Blackout, Boy Magnet, White Noise. Neil was Associate Director for Frantic Assembly and was nominated for the Off West End award for Best Director for The Unreturning (2019). He also directed This Will All Be Gone and No Way Back for the company as well as co-directing 11 Frantic Ignition performances. As Movement Director, Shade (ThickSkin); Carmen (Opera Wuppertal, Germany); The James Plays 1, 2 & 3 (National Theatre of Scotland, EIF and National Theatre); Blood Wedding and The Bacchae (Royal & Derngate). As Associate Movement Director, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child 2016 – 2021; Heisenberg (Wyndhams Theatre); The Light Princess (National Theatre) and The Full Monty (Sheffield Theatres and West End) Other credits include: Associate Director Disco Show (La Mama, New York).

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