Parent

It was an absolute delight and privilege to watch Flute Theatre’s performance of Pericles with students from St John’s College. There was plenty of laughter, tears and drama – just what you want from a night at the theatre! I was moved and inspired by how everyone was fully included and how much they seemed to be enjoying themselves. I was also struck by how engaged everyone was throughout the performance which is a significant achievement in itself. Autistic people need to be seen and heard, just like everyone else in society, and, during this performance, they were seen and heard quite magnificently and it was a joy to behold. Flute Theatre’s work is so valuable as it gives these young people the chance to express themselves creatively and to connect with people in ways that are often hard to access for them.

Parent

Lydia had the best time, she tells everyone she meets, in true Lydia style…” I was in drama…. ( tap tap tap on her chest… ) hello hello hello Lydia and everyone”

I think participating in such an inclusive performance has really helped her to grow in confidence, ( she was a bit cheeky but no-one seemed to mind that she hooted a horn in the middle ?)

The professional performers handled each individual so well, so that every participant responded in a meaningful way to each moment in the performance, it was beautiful to watch.

Thank you for including her.

Parent

I went to see my now big boy perform Shakespeare’s ‘Pericles, Prince of Tyre’ with the Flute Theatre group last night. How they managed to keep 12 autistic young adults & an audience of family, friends & the wider community engaged is an astounding achievement.

These beautiful young people with autism were simply wonderful, bringing so many emotions to all of us with their brilliant performances.

I’m so pleased I got to share this with my lovely friend Donna Cain, we cried and we laughed so much that tears came rolling down our cheeks.

Families with children on the autism spectrum rarely (never!) go to the theatre, certainly not to ‘highbrow’ theatre like the RSC for fear of how their young person will respond; (noisy, anxious) or more typically fear of other people’s response, I mean it’s hard enough just walking along the road never mind being in a theatre!

The Flute Theatre are consciously and actively challenging this and supporting autism towards increased inclusion.

I’m so pleased and proud of our boy, Luke, who is very profoundly autistic; non verbal and struggles to stay focussed. I’m so pleased that he wasn’t ‘left out’ as is usually the case, as the more able young people with autism, the more accessible ‘face of autism’ are included- yep there’s even a hierarchy in disability… even within accessing disability groups! I’m so pleased I fought hard for Luke’s place at his college so he gets to be included, celebrated and championed.

I wish everyone could have seen this performance last night but mostly I wish my Tom could have, he would have loved it.

Parent

I found the performance very moving, not just because of Emily’s involvement, but also the way all the student performers were engaged with and how the actors were so adaptive to all the performers as individuals with their own characters and abilities.

Parent

P has clearly had great fun working with Flute theatre, but what he’s doing is so much more than fun. He’s getting the opportunity to develop so many skills – his own self-confidence in getting up and playing his part, working as part of a team of players and having to focus on what others are doing as well as knowing how his part fits into the whole. He’s getting to try out different scenarios and emotions, getting to see the roles and perspectives of others within the play. Confidence, emotional awareness and perspective taking seem very important things for P to be working on, and this activity may, ultimately help him develop the confidence to ‘perform’ in a work place. Even more important though, is that he is having an experience which has enhanced connections with other people. It was lovely to see him having the opportunity to interact and work with the wonderful company members, but what struck me most of all was the quality of his connectedness with his peers. Frequently, P struggles with students vocalisations but in this context, his tolerance for others’ sounds was great – maybe because he was enjoying himself so much? It was very lovely to see him smiling and reaching out to touch the hand of one student that he’s had a tense relationship with in the past.

Learner

I liked it when we sang hello especially when we sang hello to everyone. It made me feel really happy. I liked it when the actors moved me backwards and forwards. I felt really calm. I played with Tash and Hepsi and I thought the actors were really good. My mum came to see me and she said she was really proud.

Learner

I enjoyed when I was the ’tilter’. I did it with my eyes closed and I could feel myself moving. I took part in all of it. I felt very proud of myself for doing everything.

Learner

I liked doing other voices in the play. My favourite game was ‘one piece for me’. This play has made me feel happy and joyful.

Learner

I liked going round the circle and touching hands. My favourite game was spinning around. The play helped me to work with others.

Learner

I liked doing my play with Flute theatre. I loved the song ‘Pa Pa Pa….Zsa Zsa Zsa Zsa Zsa…’. I keep singing this to my friends and staff. Being in the play made me feel really happy. My mum and dad came to see me and said I did some great singing. Olly is a singing actor. I feel Olly was exciting.

Learner

I was learning new drama, songs and movement. I liked all of the games but especially when I said ‘You’re Dead!’. This experience has helped me to be less shy.

Learner

I enjoyed the singing and dancing. My favourite game was the ‘King and Perciles’ when I had to say ‘You’re dead!’. Drama is my life and my world. This play has helped me to cope.

Learner

I enjoyed acting in the play and I liked all of it. This play has given me a little bit of confidence.

 

St. John’s College Brighton Staff

I am writing to say thank you so much for bringing the Flute Theatre to the college as the work they have done with all the learners in my group has been amazing. CK found the session very soothing yesterday morning and CR stayed in drama longer than other times this term yesterday afternoon due to the actors being so engaging and great at what they do. This morning IG stayed in a session longer than ever before and really enjoyed listening to their singing, interacting with the actors by using her hands and even standing up and joining in with the dancing towards the end – this has been uploaded to Earwig as a golden moment. The level of involvement and motivation they have fostered in our learners has been truly incredible and is really appreciated. Hopefully this can continue in the future!

St. John’s College Brighton Staff

Flute Theatre have truly given R confidence to enter the Theatre. R would start the session from the door then day by day with support from the actors her confidence grew. Now R will walk straight into her drama session and take part in the whole session which is breath taking to whiteness.

St. John’s College Brighton Staff

During Flute Theatre I was watching over G a cheeky pupil who was initially nervous to enter the space. I was amazed, delighted and very moved at the enchantment they seemed to cast over all the learners. The space was very warm, inviting and immediately safe when we arrived and transitioned smoothly into becoming a very fun, active and multi-layered experience for the learners to participate in as well as us staff to watch. The biggest thank you as it was such a highlight to G’ first term of the year and I have attached some great photos of G during his time with Flute and this smile in the photos continues today every time their presence and memory is mentioned.

Fantastic work, thank you!

St. John’s College Brighton Staff

It was truly amazing to see the flute theatre performance, for the first time ‘in the flesh’ at St-johns.
I have never seen E so engaged, she responded so well to the actors, joining in with play, singing, and over the course of the performance E’s confidence appeared to grow, she was totally engrossed in the performance. After the performance E’s confidence and communication seemed to really increase, and she wouldn’t stop giggly for a long time afterwards.

St. John’s College Brighton Staff

Flute Theatre offer a magical interactive experience to every learner, the friendly welcome is instant, and the captivating performance allows our learners to explore and express their emotions.

St. John’s College Brighton Staff

Flute Theatre have provided a fully inclusive and immersive experience here at St John’s. SE, a learner with complex needs, visual and hearing impairments was engaged throughout Flutes performance. Adapting to meet S individual needs and communicating the story using Makaton, touch, and expressive dance.

Flute’s Trustee

This performance was a joyous and moving experience – I felt very privileged to be a part of it.

Flute’s Advisory Committee Member

This was a double-first for me: my first chance to see Pericles in person, and my first chance to visit St Johns. It was an incredibly uplifting and moving experience. I had previously seen the show – and some of the St John’s students – during online performances, which were in themselves impressive. But to be there in person and to witness first-hand the brilliance of the work, and the wonderful energy of those young people was really quite special. The commitment shown by both the school and Flute towards this work has a deeply positive impact on everyone involved, and I look forward to this great collaborative work continuing.”