Next Swan Down the River Might Be Black

Three young women, a psychiatric ward, one momentous week

Related Links

Cinema Listings

Exhibitions - Theatre - Dance - Children

Wednesday 22nd February 2012, 7pm

Written by Sean Burn

Directed by Jackie Fielding

Tickets: Adults £8 (£6); Young People £7.50 (£5)

40 High Street, Brentford, TW8 0DS
Box Office: 020 8232 1010
Open daily 12noon – 9pm

Book Online:


Sign up for our free newsletter on BrentfordChiswick and Ealing

 ‘you think you won’t survive, but you do’

Watermans is delighted to present a stunning new play from theatre company, gobscure. The national tour of award winning playwright, Sean Burn’s latest play, exploring issues of mental health, race, sexuality and power, arrives at Watermans on 22nd February for an evening performance at 7pm.

Next Swan is a poetic and personal response following the author’s own sectioning and provides a rare insight into detention under the Mental Health Act.

“We witness the shifting alliances of three young women on a psychiatric ward over the course of one momentous week,” explains the director, Jackie Fielding.

Cerys, 19, black and depressive, Kay, 26, white and bipolar and Zee - a Pakistani British student nurse, are all fighting a faceless institution. At stake are their well being and friendships as they struggle to find creative paths through life.  This hauntingly lyrical play has a fragile hopefulness at its core and has been short-listed for the Alfred Bradley bursary award with the BBC.

Following the production of Next Swan, Watermans will be providing three specialist workshops on the subject matter explored in the play. Details on the workshops are listed below.

liked the glimpse it gave the audience of a world that most people don't see.  Abigail le Fleming, development producer, BBC radio drama

strong story of three women at an enormously important and particular crossroads in their lives. Penny Gulliver, Criticalinks

Important subject and beautifully written. Kylie Lloyd, head of participation, northern stage

“..intensely moving….lyrically voiced” Simon Jenner, Survivors Poetry Director

SEAN BURN is a writer, poet, artist and performer who tours, exhibits and publishes internationally. Commissioned theatre works include IN AN AGE OF DOUBLE-GLAZING for Paines Plough (1999); CUTTER for Half Moon Theatre (2004) and Time Out’s Play of the Year for Young People (2004);RED VOICE for Birmingham Repertory (2004), VOICES for Pegasus Youth Theatre (2006) and GHOST TAG for Under Construction (2006).

gobscure is a new theatre company who aim to produce work that excites, challenged and entertains. It is devoted to providing work from under-represented voices.

The Alfred Bradley Bursary Award, run in partnership with Radio Drama North and the BBC writers room, aims to encourage and develop new writing in the North. This biennial award was set up to commemorate the life and work of Alfred Bradley, the distinguished BBC Radio Drama Producer.

Watermans promotes, showcases the work, and develops partnerships with local mental health organisations. Watermans is committed to creating opportunities for people to engage in a wide range of arts activities and offers workshops, courses and events for people with mental health issues.

The Sound Design and music for Next Swan is by Gareth Mitchell, a song writer, designer and musician working in different environments. As well as composing, performing live, Gareth is a music technology lecturer at West London College and also works with people with mental difficulties.

He will be leading a workshop session in three parts after the showing of Next Swan, at Watermans which are open to all mental health users. The workshops will explore aspects of the play, writing songs, lyrics or pieces of music.  The workshops are FREE and participants can contribute at different levels.

The workshops are FREE & scheduled for 23rd Feb; 1st & 8th March from 6.00pm – 8.30pm. Contact Watermans Box Office 020 8232 1010 to confirm a place.

More information on Gareth Mitchell can be found on

February 9, 2012

Bookmark and Share