Dreaming and Drowning

Written and directed by Kwame Owusu
A Bush Theatre production in association with WoLab
World Premiere

★★★★★ ‘These are the stars of tomorrow. Or, even right now.’ Time Out

“I had that dream again. Drowning and gasping but I’m trying not to think about it.”

Malachi’s been looking forward to a fresh start at uni for months. He’s settling in, he’s got a stack of books to read and he’s met someone new – Kojo, a musician with a megawatt smile, who’s basically perfect.

But something doesn’t feel right. He keeps having the same nightmare – sinking, crushed by the weight of the ocean – and it’s getting worse… A beast grows in the water, hungry, relentless, hunting him but always just out of sight. As the boundaries between nightmare and reality fracture, Malachi must fight harder than ever to stay afloat.

Dreaming and Drowning is an intimate and visceral deep-dive into the boundless mind of a young Black queer man wrestling with anxiety. This electrifying world premiere of the Mustapha Matura Award-winning play is written and directed by Kwame Owusu, performed by Tienne Simon (Grime Kids, BBC).

★★★★ ‘Raw, unmistakable young talent.’ WhatsOnStage
★★★★ ‘Laced with warm humour and attention-grabbing bursts of rhythmic, poetic language.’ The Stage
★★★★ ‘A monologue is an opportunity for a writer and an actor to show their control of a single story, and both Owusu’s script and Simon’s performance make it look easy.’ The Guardian

WINNER Mustapha Matura Award 2022
WINNER RSC 37 Plays Competition
SHORTLISTED Alfred Fagon Award 2022

Looking for show information and content guidance?
Dreaming and Drowning Self-Care Guide and Content Warnings

We are proud to be partnering with Black Minds Matter UK on our production of Dreaming and Drowning. BMMUK was founded in 2020 with the vision of a community of Black people readily accessing mental health support, recovering fully from mental illness & thriving. blackmindsmatteruk.com
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Photo & video

Technical Stage Manager
Sound Designer
Movement Director
Lighting Designer
Writer & Director
Production Manager
Set and Costume Designer


Tienne Simon
Tienne Simon recently finished shooting one of the lead roles (Royce) in the Barnaby Roper feature film Animal opposite Eddie Marsan, Sam Claflin and Burn Gorman. Last year he shot one of the lead roles (Bishop) in Theresa Ikoko's BBC series Grime Kids which will come out towards the end of 2023. Tienne graduated from LAMDA in 2022.


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