Creative INSET with Complicitè: Using playfulness and physicality to learn and… - 14 January 2020

About the Complicité

‘Since 1983…Complicité has been helping us make sense of the world, making us laugh and weep and making us see the things that we would otherwise have missed. More than any other company they see the extraordinary in the ordinary and ignored.’ Lyn Gardner, The Guardian 

Complicité is an international touring theatre company based in London and is led by Artistic Director Simon McBurney. 

In 1983 Complicité began life as a collective and this spirit of collective enquiry, of collaborative curiosity, has driven the work throughout its history. The Company is famous for making its work through extensive periods of research and development which brings together performers, designers, writers, artists and specialists from diverse fields to create the works – a process now known simply as ‘devising’. 

Complicité’s work ranges from adaptations of writing and short stories through reinterpretation of classic texts to major devised pieces. The long process of exploration allows the performers to free their imagination and bodies and find a particular approach as a Company. Each show demands a specific process which is a response to the material that is being explored and each process grows out of play and improvisation. The collision of individual personalities with a chosen subject makes for the distinctive atmosphere and energy of each show. 

About the INSET

‘How does a story begin? Never by looking for a story. Stories come up and tap you on the shoulder. You look round and there’s nothing there. Then, another day they tap again. And this time you don’t look round, instead, you start remembering. Something you heard or saw or met which you hardly took any notice of at the time.’ 

John Berger. Written for Teacher’s Notes – Devising (2001) 

Our day long INSET will give you a chance to practically explore Complicite’s approaches to devising theatre and reflect on how to embed these in your own teaching practice. The day will start like any day in the Complicité rehearsal room – playing games. Games that encourage the notion of a team and that brings out playfulness. A good game immediately puts a group into a state of readiness and makes the steps to devising much easier.  

The day will enable you to find your own way of responding to a subject matter with physicality and theatricality. How experimentation and playfulness can provide momentum for creativity across your school and the curriculum.

The day will be physical so please dress in loose comfortable clothes that you can move in and trainers or bare feet.   

Learning outcomes for participants

  • To support teachers in their understanding of drama exercises and games to support their teaching across all subjects. 

  • To demonstrate and to reflect on how play is important for young people’s learning and to do this collaboratively. And how risk-taking is part of this. 

  • To demonstrate and reflect on how play can help students to make sense of the world through collaboration, ensemble work and storytelling. 

  • Games to play and exercises to do with your students to bring a subject to life 

Suitable for

This event is suitable for teachers and teaching assistants working in London schools, from all disciplines, Key Stages and educational settings, with an interest in creative learning. We regret that this session is not open to colleagues from cultural organisations or freelancers working with schools.

Event Details


Graeae Theatre Company, Bradbury Studios 138 Kingsland Road, London, E2 8DY


14 January 2020


9:30AM 4:30PM



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