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Riva Theatre and The Playwright’s Laboratory in association with Park Theatre present

Sorry We Didn't Die at Sea

By Emanuele Aldrovandi

Translated by Marco Young
Directed by Daniel Emery


It’s the near future and Europe has failed. A domino effect of nationalist, isolationist policies has left the continent’s economies on the brink of collapse, and citizens of the countries who closed their borders to immigrants are forced to flee across the seas. 

In a claustrophobic shipping container, three unnamed travellers place their lives at the mercy of a mysterious people-smuggler. Forced to exist on the brink between civility and chaos, they pray that they will reach their destination. And yet there are natural - and human - forces at work which are far beyond their control.

This darkly comic, absurdist, and political piece offers us a refracted story of European migration - asking us how well we would fare if we were forced to make a perilous journey across the sea, and what lengths we would go to in order to survive.

Playwright Emanuele Aldrovandi is one of Italy’s foremost theatre-makers. His work has been performed across Europe and the United States. This production transfers from the Seven Dials Playhouse, where it was first performed to British audiences in July 2022.  


★★★★ ‘Dynamic and stimulating production... a memorable 90 minutes’ Morning Star

★★★★ ‘Well-produced, fascinatingly staged production’ All That Dazzles

★★★★ ‘Ambitious, darkly funny and absurd’ Everything Theatre

★★★★ ‘Tests our notions of what is true and what is untrue’ Always Time For Theatre

★★★★ ‘The actors are very effective throughout’ The Artiscape

★★★★ Paul in London

‘Absurdist black humour shape-shifts into smart thriller... The trio handles farce and drama smoothly with remarkable flexibility’ Broadway World

‘Intriguingly genre-defying and challenging’ Broadway Baby

‘A dark and disturbing comedy that makes you laugh and squirm. Well worth a look.’ Fairy Powered Productions

‘A conversation-inducing masterclass in budget theatre’ The Obscurity

‘A true black comedy’ Theatre Weekly 

‘A committed cast’ LondonTheatre1


This production has been licensed by arrangement with Emanuele Aldrovandi and in accordance with Arcadia & Ricono Ltd 

With thanks to: British Italian Society, Fabulamundi Playwrighting Europe New Voices, Keith Sykes, Sue Bradbury OBE, Philip Carne, Roger and Simona Sylvester, Mazzini Garibaldi Foundation, The Murray Family, William Rosenfield, Clare Parsons, Bonelli Erede, Antonio Benedetti and Manuela di Muro, Giuseppe and Paola Arbia and Marc and Rachel Polonsky.

Artwork by Lidia Crisafulli. Production photos by Charles Flint.