We really know our audiences...
Chain Reaction have been developing entertaining, informative, and most importantly, memorable shows since 1994 - that’s almost longer than we care to remember! We started out as a group of theatre-loving young people, and over the years we’ve had the chance to learn from our young audiences and their teachers to make sure our shows really work. And because all our shows were originally commissioned by local government or public health departments, we’ve worked with professionals in their field whilst developing each and every one.
Why do we use theatre?
Because we love it! But also because we know that if we don’t grab young people’s attention, there’s no way they’re going to really get involved, let alone remember what they’ve learnt! That’s why our shows use a mixture of parody, comedic sketches, current music, popular characters and pop culture references so the kids who see us really engage and the important messages we deliver have maximum impact. We all know that our strongest childhood memories are of the times when we laughed or cried or really felt a strong emotion about something, so we aim to engage young people emotionally so they’ll never forget what they learn.
And as if that wasn't enough, all our shows have accompanying resources!
We’re not like other companies who just pop in and out of your school. We believe that the best way to really ingrain the learning is for our audiences to undertake a programme of work about the issues we address. That’s why we offer a range of free and paid-for resources to extend the learning into the classroom and beyond…
Free Teachers’ Resource Packs: Most of our shows include resource packs full of information, ideas, and lesson plans. These packs are designed to be used before and after Chain Reaction’s visit to help get your pupils interested in the topics and inspire further learning and discussion.
Free hot-seating sessions: Some shows include a 10 minute post-show hot-seating session, where audiences ask the characters from the show questions about their thoughts and actions. We’re consistently amazed at the sensitive and thoughtful questions young people ask in these sessions – they’ve proven to be a great way to get them really thinking about what they’ve seen!
Supporting workshops: We also offer fun, interactive issue-based workshops that use drama, role-play and games to encourage young people to think for themselves and to form their own opinions about the topic in question.
Why do teachers love us?
We have tonnes of teachers telling us how much they personally enjoyed the Chain Reaction experience, but, more than that, our streetwise and professional young actresses help them introduce some of the more ‘difficult to talk about’ issues to their classes (such as drugs, sex and emotions), in a way that breaks down taboos and helps pupils get over the giggles and embarrassment, so they can go on to have productive discussions about the topics in hand. And because all of our shows are designed in line with a range of educational curriculae and standards, you know that all our work will help to achieve your learning outcomes.
So how do our shows link with existing work in schools?
Most of the issues we explore have minimal statutory regulation in the National Curriculum, which leaves a serious gap in pupils’ education around life skills. We help young people become more knowledgeable about issues that affect them, more confident in their knowledge, and better equipped to make informed, positive life decisions.
All our work supports key aspects of:
PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education)
SMSC (Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural)
SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning)
A range of other current and older curriculums, educational strategies and Government guidelines including Every Child Matters
We’ve got loads more we could tell you about our amazing shows, so why not get in touch..?
“The important thing to remember
is that young people today are ‘streetwise’; when producing educational theatre it is vital to never lose sight of this. You have to be able to relate to young people and have compassion for them and the issues that they face whilst growing up. This is a major factor in the success of Chain Reaction; we don’t intimidate or patronise, we just tell them exactly how it is.”
Sarah Smit, Artistic Director,
“The booklet to support is
fab! I really enjoyed the
show - very professional and
pitched at the right level.”
L Long, Head of Year 6,
New City Primary, London
Borough of Newham
“A powerful message that led to good class discussions […] A very lively, engaging production that kept children with short attention spans engaged and on task. A very relevant production.”
C. Rae, Teacher, Waterside Primary School, London Borough of Greenwich
“After watching the show the children clearly understood why it is so important to treat everyone the same regardless of their differences.”
Iram Parvez, Class Teacher, Marion Richardson Primary School, London Borough of Tower Hamlets
“The best theatre company production I have seen in secondary schools in my PSHE experience.”
Axton Chase School,
Now you've had a chance to check out our amazing range of educational shows, we'd like to take the opportunity to explain just why they're so good!