Autism-friendly Shakespeare set for tour

Flute Theatre’s autism-friendly production of The Tempest is returning for more dates and a first production in Spanish. The show was originally co-commissioned with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Ohio State University in 2014.

Directed by Flute Theatre artistic director Kelly Hunter, the production is designed specifically for children with autism and their families. Kids sit in a circle, with the families sat behind them, and are invited to take part in sensory games, which the children and actors play together. As a result, the story unfolds in a different way in each telling.

‘Today was the first time I forgot myself and was just there,’ said one participant, whose mother commented that the show, ‘has the power to transform lives and unleash unrealised potential in the children [Flute Theatre] work with.’

UK-based Flute Theatre’s mission is to make inclusive Shakespeare productions. It is just about to tour new production Hamlet, Who’s There? across Europe, culminating in a show at Kronberg Castle in Elsinore, Denmark. It uses percussion to explore the idea of the divided self and transferred grief.

The Tempest will tour the United States in May, before a Spanish performance at Alcala Festival. Summer dates are set for Southbank Centre and Orange Tree in Richmond.