Change starts in the classroom: Narrative Alchemy launches workshops for schools

Sean and Gemma presenting a workshop

Narrative Alchemy, a theatre and production company dedicated to using theatre and film to address complex social issues, has launched with a commitment to facilitating positive change through engaging workshops and training for schools and educational settings across the UK.


Founders Gemma Paget and Sean McGrath, who first met in 2004 at The Cambridge Shakespeare Festival, have put their extensive creative experience into five different arms of the business: Explore, Empower, Embrace, Ignite and Combust, each targeting the individual needs of particular industries and groups.


Narrative Alchemy’s ‘Empower’ arm is targeted at schools and aims to improve student and staff understanding of topics such as mental health, building community, resilience, and coping with change through practical story-telling, creative writing and performance-based workshops. The ‘Ignite’ arm is centred around raising awareness of key social issues including sexism, child sexual exploitation, county lines and youth violence in the form of educational plays and films.


Students and staff participating in the sessions will have the opportunity to explore a broad range of complex social issues in a secure setting and engage with incredibly knowledgeable and talented professionals.


Northampton College has worked with the team previously to deliver story exchange workshops for students, and Lecturer in Theatre, Helen Coope, said: “The power of listening to a story, and the responsibility of repeating someone else’s story, was hugely impactful for our students; they listened to each other in a completely new way, paying more attention to their peers’ words and body language. All of these skills can be applied outside of the classroom.”


Sean McGrath, Co-Artistic Director at Narrative Alchemy, said: “The idea behind Narrative Alchemy has been a focus of mine for some time and I am delighted it is now a reality. Harnessing the power of stories and using them as a catalyst to create positive change in our world is something I am very passionate about. We can’t wait to get started and work with schools across the UK to achieve their goals.”


Sean is a member of the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain, a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), an associate director for The Cambridge Shakespeare Festival, and is furthering his professional development by studying for a Master’s degree in Writing for Performance at The University of Cambridge. Gemma is a highly skilled creative therapist who holds a Master’s degree in dramatherapy from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. Both have delivered sessions to thousands of children, young people and professionals throughout the UK, as well as in Europe, the US and Canada.


To find out more about Narrative Alchemy, visit: