Breaking the Chain (knife crime / youth violence)

Raising Awareness around Knife Crime & Youth Violence

‘Breaking the Chain’ is a hard-hitting applied theatre production that aims to raise awareness, kick-start conversations and build resilience around youth violence – with a focus on knife crime – as part of a public health approach to tackling the issue – an issue that is seeing young people seriously hurt and, all too often, killed on the streets of our towns and cities.

Recently out of prison and trying to turn his life around, Tyler is worried about his younger brother Zeke and his friend Danny. Zeke and Danny have started carrying knives and Tyler is desperate to ensure that they don’t make the same mistakes that he’s made in the past. The play follows them over the course of one day as the tensions are mounting and Tyler must intervene to avoid a tragedy and try to talk them all into breaking the chain.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The entire year group was spellbound!

Charters School, Berkshire

The play has been seen by thousands of young people around the UK and aims to:-

  • Break the chain by reassuring young people that knife carrying is not actually common and that they do not need to carry knives to protect themselves from other knife carriers
  • Raise awareness around the risks and consequences of youth violence and knife crime on the individual and on their friends, families and on the wider community
  • Build resilience by raising awareness, creating a common language and kick-starting conversations around the influences, fears and pressures that can lead to the decision to hurt someone or to carry a knife and how these can be managed or avoided
  • Build resilience by raising awareness of and promoting the core skills (including but not limited to: self-confidence, self-esteem, risk assessment, emotional intelligence, empathy, decision making, recognising healthy relationships) that can be used help young people to navigate a whole host of issues, critical moments and adverse childhood experiences that they may encounter
  • Raise awareness around the importance of seeking help and advice or telling someone if they are concerned about themselves, a friend or someone they know.
  • Sign-post who young people can speak to

‘Breaking the Chain’ was developed in consultation with young people, youth, social and health workers, charities, police forces, urban youth specialists and the families and friends of those tragically affected by youth violence in order to tackle this highly complex issue in an effective manner and with credible voices.

Project Information

Running Time 55 minutes including post-show talk
Get In 1 hr
Get Out 30 mins
Cast Size 3
Performance Space 4m x 4m
Staging Ground Level – End On

We can perform the play for intimate audiences or to entire year groups at a time. All we need is a performance space roughly 4m x 4m and somewhere to plug in our sound system. The cast do not use mics so performance venues must be suitable for unamplified voices. The cast aim to arrive one hour before the show start time to set up and take about 30 minutes to pack down.

Target Audience

  • Young People (year 7+)
  • FE colleges
  • Parents, carers, teachers, police & professionals working with young people
Breaking the Chain performance at Honywood School, C8 were welcomed to the hall by the Police who set up their “scanner” to demonstrate how knives can be detected

Available Sept ’23 to July ’24

Costs for academic year Sept 2023 to July 2024

  • £650+vat per show (AM or PM slots available)
  • Or you can book the whole day for £1200+vat and have up to 3 x performances in the day

Narrative Alchemy

Narrative Alchemy is one of the leading Applied Theatre & Film production companies in the UK. Our primary focus is creating positive change through the art of storytelling.

Our team collaborates with various organisations, including schools, colleges, charities, government bodies, the NHS, and private companies, to develop and deliver impactful productions. We explore topics such as safeguarding, cultural health, wellbeing, and social issues.

Our portfolio of work includes projects on child sexual exploitation, child criminal exploitation, domestic abuse & coercive control, radicalisation & extremism, hate crime, knife crime, sexism & sexist behaviours, emotional resilience, internet safety, and diversity. By raising awareness and initiating conversations around these issues, we hope to contribute towards a better world.


To book or for further assistance, please call 0161 236 1448 to talk to our friendly team. Alternatively, fill in the enquiry form below and we’ll get back to you with availability in your area…