‘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.

 The production be targeted at two different groups:

  • Young people (year 7+)
  • Parents, carers, teachers & professionals working with children & young people


Recently out of prison and trying to turn his life around 27 year old Tyler is worried about his younger brother Zeke and his younger sister Eden, as well as their friends Danny and Naz.  Zeke and Danny have started carrying knives, Eden and Naz are often going out of town 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.


The play 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


The play has been 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

Show Title Breaking the Chain

Author Sean McGrath

Production Rights Gemini Creative Limited

Producer AlterEgo CS Ltd

Running Time 50 minutes (including post-show talk)

Get In 1 hr

Get Out 30 mins

Cast Size 5

Performance Space 4m x 4m

Staging Ground Level – End On



Leaflet for YP (front)

Leaflet for YP (back)