Adelaide is mourning the loss of theater pioneer Helen Flinter-Leach, who passed away peacefully on Tuesday, 4 August.
After graduating with a Drama degree from Flinders University, Helen founded No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability 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.
Helen left the organisation in 1998 due to illness, but No Strings continued to build on her extraordinary vision and legacy. As her health failed, she remained very interested in, and proud of, the accomplishments of No Strings.
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.”
Helen is survived by son Justin, daughter Emma and grand-children Grace, Max, Eleanor, Miranda and Nessa. And, of course, the extraordinary theatre company she founded.