Flute Theatre, a company who push the boundaries of Shakespeare performance for audiences with autism and their families across the world, will run a series of online interactive performances of Shakespeare’s Pericles from 22 June – 18 July 2020.
In response to the current COVID-19 crisis, where many autistic people are experiencing increased isolation, performances of Pericles will be made by the company via Zoom to individual households for those with autism and their families. Neurotypical siblings and all family members are welcome to join in.
Created in 2019, Pericles was scheduled to perform in UK theatres during 2020. Since lockdown, Flute Theatre has adapted their specialized games so they can be accessed and experienced online in order to continue to play with autistic individuals and their families every day. The aim is to combat isolation as well as alleviate increased fears and anxiety experienced by those with autism during this crisis.
Kelly Hunter MBE, Artistic Director of Flute Theatre said:
The Covid-19 crisis has changed everything I do; in the last three months I've worked every day adapting my games to be played online without losing the drama, the impact and the love. Just as Pericles reaches across oceans to find his family, we've stretched ourselves to keep contact with our community of autistic individuals and in doing so we've created a whole new way of telling this story that we can now share with the world, one family at a time. The story of Pericles is one of hope in the face of adversity; our performances will offer families who feel marginalised and locked away a place to combat their isolation, express their feelings and shine their inner lights as brightly as they are able.
For Pericles, the journey is designed as an online fairground with each game being a ride that offers a different sensory experience. If someone enjoys a particular game they are welcome to stay for as long as they would like. Experiences will take individuals and their families through a wild tango, a stormy shipwreck and a miraculous resurrection with games of pirates, kings, magicians and fishermen. At the end of the performance there will be no rush to leave, with participants being given photographic keepsakes and a chance to chat with the actors performing in order for everyone to take their time to transition out of the experience.
Flute Theatre will connect to those who would like to take part via Zoom throughout the world and will adapt the show to suit individual needs. Performances of Pericles will last up to an hour, with no age limits for participation. Schools can also take part with up to three autistic individuals. To book visit www.flutetheatre.co.uk/contact
Alongside Pericles, Flute Theatre have also created a number of online resources and games to play at home for autistic individuals and their families. These include Heartbeat Hellos – devised to provide a safe womb-like environment to help calm nerves, anxiety and panic attacks. Performed at 6pm (GMT) weekdays and weekends on Instagram @flutetheatre. Further information can be found at www.flutetheatre.co.uk/how-to-play-at-home .
Flute Theatre Presents
For people with autism and their families
Adapted from William Shakespeare by Kelly Hunter
22 June – 18 July 2020
£10 per performance (No charge if you are struggling)
Cast Paul Gorostidi, Natasha Haward, Alistair Hoyle, Oliver Mclellan, Holly Musgrave, Hephzibah Roe and Joshua Welch
Director Kelly Hunter MBE
Company Stage Manager Heather Cooper
Assistant Director Oscar Fabres
www.flutetheatre.co.uk | Twitter & Instagram @FluteTheatre