Talks & workshops

Phil Richards is available to speak and to run workshops on a range of subjects, for conferences and in-service training.

Talks and workshops on offer at present include:

  • Reigniting interest in learning, through creativity

    The Complete Works has transformed, from a theatre company which offered education activities, to a school that teaches through creative means. As the company has developed over the last fifteen years, it has come under increasing pressure, to operate in similar ways to a mainstream school. The challenge therefore is to give young people the same opportunities they might receive in mainstream schooling, whilst ensuring that we do not re- create those aspects of school which they have rejected.

    In this talk Phil examines the ways in which the company uses creative methods and techniques to re-engage disaffected young people to learn and he explores a range of alternatives to accepted models of education.

  • Strategies for Creative Teaching

    I hear and I forget.
    I see and I remember.
    I do and I understand.

    Confucius (551-479 BC)

    Bring your subject to life, through ‘Enactive Learning.’ Motivate the class to work collaboratively – Inspire students to explore subjects imaginatively – Facilitate dramatic debate and encourage research. This workshop is designed to equip teachers with a wealth of practical methods, versatile techniques and fun activities to creatively transform their lessons.

    Suitable for NQT’s, eager to develop their skills and experienced teachers, wishing to extend their knowledge. Especially useful for those teaching English and Humanities.

Touring Productions

We have a number of productions, which are suitable for both Primary and Secondary Schools. All can accommodate up to two hundred and fifty students and are regularly toured in London and the surrounding areas.

Examples of productions are:

  • production-gangstar


    This production is designed to be a preventative tool in reducing gun and knife related crime. Gang*Star aims to entertain and involve the audience, while communicating a strong social message. It consists of a musical play, featuring Rap, DJ and Breakdance with an interactive workshop, focusing on the consequences of becoming involved in gangs. The play explores the ways in which very young people can be recruited to become gang members and also offers a unique perspective on female involvement in gangs. Officers from the Metropolitan Police have stated that “This project is essential and should compliment and support other preventative measures.”

  • production-notmyproblem

    Not my problem

    This anti-bullying play covers a wide range of highly debated issues, including racism, sexism and homophobia. Set in a wrestling ring, it examines the thoughts, feelings and anxieties which victims experience, when being bullied. The play identifies those who are responsible when bullying takes place and looks for solutions in dealing with the problem. An interactive workshop follows the performance, where members of the audience are involved in the play’s action. The production is designed to include each school’s specific anti-bullying policy, within the content of the workshop.

  • production-shakespeare

    Shakespeare’s plays with Italia Conti

    Working in partnership with The Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, we deliver fast-moving and accessible adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays. Plays are performed by a large cast of actors and contain music, dance and song. Texts are abridged to 75 minutes and are followed by a short question and answer session. Past productions have included; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, The Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It, Macbeth, Hamlet and Richard III.

Creative Projects

We employ professional directors, musicians and filmmakers to run educational projects throughout the UK. Our work takes place on theatre stages, in studio spaces, community centers and in primary, secondary and special needs schools.

Practitioners employ drama and film techniques, dance, movement, puppetry and mask work to explore a range of themes, in accordance with the needs of each group they work with.

Examples include:

  • projects-film


    Designed to provide all participants with photographic and video skills and an insight into the media industry. Groups develop their ideas into scripts and storyboard their own scenes for pre-production. Participants learn techniques of camera operation, sound recording and lighting, giving them ‘hands-on’ experience of shooting their own film, in a location of their choice.

  • projects-music

    Urban Music

    Urban Music. Comprehensive experience of working with up-to-date techniques in Rap and DJ. Beat-matching and scratching techniques are explored alongside composition, lyric writing, rhyme, music production and self-promotion. Professionals with a wide range of experience in the music industry motivate and empower all participants to create their own original material.

  • projects-theatre

    Drama, Mask & Puppetry

    Individuals are given the opportunity to explore different characters and to act out improvised scenarios. Drama techniques are combined with puppetry and mask-work to develop the skills of storytelling and literacy. Projects can be designed to focus on issues such as the environment, violence and drug abuse, or to simply have fun and produce something new.

Interactive Events

We stage high profile consultation and conference events, which are structured to incorporate Drama, Music and Film. Presenters, trainers and facilitators, employ multimedia techniques, to engage delegates and empower them to discuss issues and share ideas in unique and exciting ways.

Events for Social and Community Services

We regularly run consultation events for young people, their carers, social workers and other professionals involved in their care and development. Drawing from popular culture and media themes, we have debated topics such as young peoples experiences of living in care, adoption, child protection, health, training and employment. These events aim to create a fun and inclusive platform, which allows freedom of expression for all participants.

Corporate Events

Organisations often wish to include creative elements in their company events, to harness ideas and to energise debate. Using aspects of the performing arts, we are able bring a creative ‘breath of air’ to conferences and conventions.

Examples of events we creatively support are; Staff and Management Consultation, Planning and Development Meetings, Policy Reviews, Celebrations and Annual General Meetings. Events have been held in a variety of venues throughout London, including;The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), The Tate Britain, Claridge’s Hotel, Kensington Palace, The Paddington Arts Centre, The Cockpit Theatre, The Westminster Council Chambers, and The Greenwich Maritime Museum.

We welcome the opportunity to devise new and original events, tailor-made to the requirements of organisations who would like to work with us.

Explore our site

Our School

Responding creatively to the specific needs of the young people who are referred to us has not only sharpened our vision but also shaped the type of provision we offer them, resulting in our metamorphosis from a Theatre-in-Education Company to an Alternative Education Provision and consequently into an Independent School.

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About us

Since the formation of the company as a charity in 1999, our organisation has grown organically, adapting and changing to accommodate new trends, whilst maintaining a clear vision to empower people of all ages and abilities to gain access to education, using the arts.

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Each person’s individual achievement is far more important to us than league tables and the comments we have received from parents and students are very complimentary in this respect.  However our statistics show that we have certainly enabled large numbers of students to gain good levels of attainment in nationally recognised qualifications, and our Ofsted report has confirmed that what we offer is ‘Good!’

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The creative process remains at the heart of everything we do and alongside the school provision we run, we deliver talks, run workshops and tour productions to schools and organisations who would like learn more about how we work, interact with us, or commission performances.

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News & Blogs

We do our very best to keep people up-to-speed with the educational innovations and creative projects the company is involved in and we are often on the lookout for like-minded people who are keen to work with us and utilise their creative skills to make a difference to young people’s lives.

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Get in touch

We are always keen to hear from those who would like to access our service, comment on our work or support us to achieve our aim, which has always been “The advancement of education, through creativity, for people of all ages and abilities.”

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