In memory of Helen Flinter-Leach,
No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability
It is with enormous sadness that we bid farewell to our founder,
Helen Flinter-Leach, who passed away peacefully on Tuesday, 4 August.
Our thoughts are very much with her family, including her son Justin, daughter Emma and grand-children Grace, Max, Eleanor, Miranda and Nessa.
After graduating with a Drama degree from Flinders University, Helen founded No Strings in 1994 after growing tired of the limited opportunities in South Australia for aspiring performers living with disability.
Approaching the City of Norwood St Peters & Payneham for funding, No Strings’ first production, ‘Norwood at Work’ was a short puppetry piece that centred on the history of work in Norwood. Over the coming years, Helen worked hard to ensure the longevity of the company – sourcing grants and funding to produce productions, and hiring theatre producers to create new works and collaborate with our actors.
Fast forward 26 years, No Strings is a world-class theatre company that proudly works exclusively with performers living with disability, showcasing the power of diversity and acceptance – where disability doesn’t define.
Helen left the organisation in 1998 due to illness, but No Strings continues to build on her extraordinary vision and legacy. As her health failed, she remained very interested and proud of the accomplishments of No Strings.
Kari Seeley, Acting CEO said, “Building on the last 26 years – from the extraordinary vision of our Founder, delivered through several Artistic Directors and all of our amazing performers, No Strings has undertaken local, national, and international tours, and now, in 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic, our amazing team have successfully supported our artists to transition to an online format for our weekly workshops. This shift has opened up new doors for us to take Helen’s vision global, with two new online international collaborations underway, with artists with disability living in Singapore and South Korea.”
Her grand daughter, Eleanor Cooney Hunt said, “She had a very inspiring career in theatre, and it is incredible to see the opportunity, warmth and inclusivity that is offered through this company continuously over the 26 years. This theatre company was truly one of her crowning accomplishments, and to see its ongoing success was very moving to me and my mother.”
About No Strings:
No Strings is a world-class theatre company that proudly works exclusively with performers living with disability. Our people are the stars, not just support acts.
We produce award-winning productions with local, national and international tours that deeply move audiences to the point where disability disappears. No Strings is leading the way to extend the art form, providing opportunity and access to any role, at any level.
We are the not-for-profit that is breaking the “fifth wall” – tackling the barriers associated with disability. We entertain while we empower and we celebrate ability while being committed to excellence and innovation.
We are proud to carry on Helen’s vision of letting ability shine, while challenging societies expectations and educating the wider community to achieve true inclusion.