The North Wall

Brown Boys Swim

Written by Karim Khan Directed by John Hoggarth


Best friends Mohsen and Kash are gearing up for the biggest night of their lives – Jess Denver’s pool party. There’s just one problem…they can’t swim.

Fuelled by halal Haribo and chicken wings, the pair throw themselves in at the deep end, tackling cramped cubicles and cold showers as they learn how to be at one with the water.

Fierce, funny, and brimming with heart, Karim Khan examines the pressures faced by young Muslim men in this exhilarating new play about fitting in and striking out.

Winner of a Fringe First and the 2022 BBC Popcorn Writing award, Brown Boys Swim returns to Oxford ahead of a national tour, following sell-out runs at the Edinburgh Fringe and Soho Theatre.

About the Writer

Karim Khan is an alumnus of The North Wall’s ArtsLab programme, having taken part in Catalyst 2019. He is a Creative Associate of The North Wall, a member of the Soho Six 2023/2024, and is a recent recipient of Riz Ahmed’s Left Handed Films and Pillars Fund inaugural fellowship.

Photos © Geraint Lewis


Kash Kashif Ghole
Mohsen Ibraheem Hussain

Creative Team

Writer Karim Khan
Director John Hoggarth*
Set and Costume Designer James Button
Composer and Sound Designer Roshan Gunga
Movement Director Sita Thomas
Lighting Designer James Bailey*
Assistant Director Amelia Thornber*

Production Team

Producer Ria Parry*
Production Manager James Bailey*
Associate Producer Amelia Thornber*
Technical Stage Manager Alice Reddick
Marketing Manager Amy Walters*
Casting Director Naomi Downham

*North Wall Staff

Original production created with the generous support of Humphrey Battcock 

Download the Brown Boys Swim Programme

Brown Boys Swim Playtext

Pre-order a copy of the Brown Boys Swim playtext and collect from The North Wall on the night of the performance.


Click here to buy



theatre works! Free Schools Matinee

Thanks to funding from theatre works! we are running a free schools matinee for local schools on Thursday 21 September at 11am. To find out more, email our participation manager, Abigail Walton on





"A fine piece of authentic storytelling."

The Guardian

"Karim Khan’s play is both delicate and fresh and...fully alive."

The Stage

"A runaway success"



The Scotsman

"A moving, witty play"

Financial Times

Brown Boys Swim

21 September 2023 - 8:00 pm
22 September 2023 - 8:00 pm
23 September 2023 - 8:00 pm

Standard: £16
Pay more: £20
Pay less: £12

Extra information

Age Guidance: 14+

Post Show Q&A: Friday 22 September

Captioned Performance: Saturday 23 September

Pay More / Pay Less: find out more about our new ticket prices here

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