"Flute Theatre’s innovative visual narrative"
by Jill Lawrie for remotegoat on 17/01/19

Having toured across Europe, Chichester Minerva’s theatre now plays host to Flute Theatre’s UK premiere of Kelly Hunter’s adaptation of “Twelfth Night” with music from Tom Chapman. This unique production, using nothing but costumes, props and instruments, is set to appeal to people on the autistic spectrum. By taking away the pomp and ceremony from what can often be a somewhat intimidating theatre visit and creating a comfortable social setting, this autism-friendly, relaxed experience can be incredibly exciting. Many theatres are now aware of this and are providing accessible performances for people on the spectrum. Such a rewarding experience can inspire confidence and bring much enjoyment as they connect to the highly rewarding physical story telling.

In 2002 during Kelly Hunter’s time at the Royal Shakespeare Company she set up a group with a view to introducing theatre to children with little opportunity of participating in the arts, leading to deconstructed Shakespearean productions for inclusive audiences, via innovative visual narratives.

Flute Theatre have paired “Twelfth Night” with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (which performs in the mornings) as these two productions share the experiences of waking and dreaming.
William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” (or What You Will) is a complicated romantic comedy involving shipwreck, twins, jealousy, gender swap, humiliation and revenge!

The talented, feisty ensemble of 7 switch seamlessly between character interaction and their instruments, giving a powerful and funny exploration of first love. Mostly barefoot their playfulness and energy bring much vitality to this mystical fantasy, which was well received by an appreciative audience.

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