In July we performed and created three different productions in three different countries.
Twelfth Night at the Neuss Globe, Germany
Hamlet at Gyula Shakespeare Festival, Hungary
A Midsummer Nights Dream for children with autism in Montcada i Reixac, Barcelona.
In August we are running a Summer Dreams project at the Bush Theatre London for children and families from Queensmill School London and MA Drama Students from Drama Centre UAL.
“Having Flute Theatre at the Orange Tree has enhanced our programme in a unique way. Our mission statement talks of wanting to change lives but it’s rare to see this happen in front of your eyes. Kelly Hunter’s work has a truly transformative effect on the young people who participate and on their parents and carers. It’s also transforms all those who come into contact with it in the building: “inclusivity” takes on a palpable, profoundly moving meaning once you’ve experienced Flute at work.”
Paul Miller, Artistic Director, Orange Tree Theatre
“The silence and calm was magical. It felt almost religious, as though a sacred space had been created, within which something transformative was happening”.
Flute was set up in 2014 to create productions of Shakespeare for inclusive audiences. We specialise in international touring, performing at major European festivals as well as partnering with Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond with our pioneering productions for children with autism and their families. Our productions are targeted toward the widest possible audience, encompassing all ages and languages by defying traditional expectations of Shakespeare. We have two ways of making our work; both are immersive and intimate.
The first strips away the pomp and ceremony of Shakespeare’s plays to reveal the essence of their humanity with fresh, original theatricality. Hamlet and Twelfth Night are made in this way and both made their world premieres at international festivals. Hamlet began in Poland at the Gdansk Shakespeare Festival in 2015 and Twelfth Night premiered in Spain at The Festival de Teatro Clasico de Almagro in 2017. Hamlet continued to tour to the major European Shakespeare festivals, performing in Romania, Denmark, Germany and Spain as well as a four week run in London’s West End. Most recently we revived Hamlet to perform at Gyula Shakespeare festival in Hungary in July 2018. Twelfth Night has toured to Romania and Germany during Spring/Summer 2018. The experience of sharing Shakespeare with diverse audiences across the world is essential to Flute’s way of working.
The second method goes even deeper into the essence of Shakespeare to create productions specifically for children with autism and their families. The foundation of these productions is the Hunter Heartbeat Method created by Artistic Director Kelly Hunter.
HHB is the result of 15 years of Hunter’s working with children on the spectrum, giving her a unique position of skill and expertise. She places this gained wisdom at the centre of Flute’s groundbreaking productions.
The Tempest was created in 2014 and has toured internationally ever since, performing for children with autism and their families in the UK, USA and Spain, in English, Spanish and Catalan. A Midsummer NIghts Dream was created in co-production with the Orange Tree Theatre in 2017 and has toured internationally during 2018. This Autumn the production will be returning for three weeks of performances to the Orange Tree Theatre in November.
“I was blown away by the sensitive performance of the group of dedicated and highly knowledgeable actors who managed to immerse and involve a group of adolescents with severe autism in their creative interpretation of the Tempest. I think very highly of the work of Flute Theatre and thoroughly recommend their approach. It is a wonderful contribution to a more holistic education of individuals with autism, and it would seem to be applicable at all ages and all abilities, including those without language.”
Uta Frith DBE
Jane Claire OBE (Chair)
Jane Suzman DBE
Kelly Hunter and Emma Richards
Limited Company Number 9303847
Registered Charity Number 1163705
With thanks to:
The St Olave’s Foundation Fund
Many thanks to all our Flute Angels who have made our work possible!