A Complicité Journey

A Complicité Journey is an in-depth project taking place over several years with secondary schools in Brent. Each year, students receive a series of devising workshops from Complicité Associate Artists before coming together with artists and theatremakers during half term to devise a brand new piece of work in dialogue with a current Complicité production.

This year, we worked with students at Newman Catholic College and Ark Elvin Academy using Mnemonic as our starting point. Students explored memory, connection and the human experience, and went to the Natural History Museum to gather inspiration that informed their work. During the week of devising, students collaborated with Complicité Associates and visiting associates.

A Complicité Journey isn’t just about creating theatre; it’s about empowering students to discover their voices, explore their identities and forge connections that transcend the boundaries of stage and classroom. We hope the students and teachers enjoyed the collaboration as much as we did.

Read more about their devised pieces below: 

The First Piece

Weaving together ideas with games and ensemble exercises this ensemble has been exploring their feelings of wonder when seeing the exhibitions at the museum. They have been inspired by outer space and the journey of the planets around the sun, the impact of seeing huge dinosaur skeletons and exploring how earthquakes can impact us here on earth. The students have written short monologues in several languages about how the objects and exhibitions have reminded them of places they now know. There is a reflection on how one person’s rubbish is another person’s treasure.

The Journey 

We all have a beach somewhere that we love and where we have felt happy and relaxed. This piece starts on a beach where the performers are looking at the ocean and thinking about how the sea connects us to everywhere on earth. The waves wash them into remembering the trip to the museum and the wonders they saw from across the world including the huge blue whale. They discuss whether the whale is real or not. When one performer talks about how the Qu’ran describes the creation of the world it takes him and the other performers into memories about their grandparents and the jobs and roles they had across the globe. They re-live moments on their personal beaches and end with a joyous song and dance. Water connects us all.

You can watch a short video of the students’ work from 2023 below.

If you are interested in finding out more about this project, please email

© Sarah Ainslie and Natalie Raaum

“We could express our emotions all the time, they respected us and I can give my ideas without problems. I learned a lot.” Student Feedback
“The creation of a genuinely supportive and creative environment in which students who are inexperienced performers and relatively new to speaking English, felt comfortable in taking risks and sharing their ideas is what all Drama teachers aim for...” Teacher Feedback