The challenge of a woman in charge
State Theatre Centre of WA 2021
00 Nov - 00 Oct - Subiaco Arts Centre
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Edited by David Vincent Smith

World class performer Natalie Allen transforms, she’s no longer Julia Gillard, she’s every woman. Powerful and defiant (Out in Perth)

JULIA is a powerful and gripping solo work performed by one of Australia's leading contemporary dancer's, Natalie Allen, co-created with an exciting team of WA Independent performance makers.

 …And I say to the Leader of the Opposition I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. I will not. And the Government will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. Not now, not ever…and if he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia, he doesn't need a motion in the House of Representatives, he needs a mirror. That's what he needs (PM Julia Gillard, 2012)

Created from the parliamentary record, media reportage and public commentary around the political leadership of Australia’s first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, this show directly reflects on Gillard’s story. Positioned in a form of ‘public’ gallery, the mood is one of intimacy and exposure. Lighting and sound (a blend of sampled voice, news bite and original composition) recreate both the world of Gillard and the media circus she was a part of. Allen dances in and around the audience, every move she makes, every gesture is visible. This is a timely and compelling portrait that reflects on female leadership, personality, power and the body politic. A dynamic dance theatre performance that will rock your socks off!  

JULIA is accessible dance theatre that doesn’t shy away from the politics and the story. In a post #metoo world, and with the full support of Gillard’s post-prime ministerial office, we have access to Gillard's words which Natalie brings to life through her daring physicality and dynamic theatricality to create a dramatic live portrait of one of Australia’s feminist heroines. This is must see theatre!

Suitable for presentation in a range of audience configurations and formats. Simple staging combines with dynamic visual projections to make this an exciting totally immersive experience for the audience.

Audience Engagement - in conversation

The work offers an exciting engagement as we reach out to local women, business, community and leadership groups. With each performance, in a hosted conversation, we invite women of all ages from business, arts, politics and sport to reflect on their experience, role and influence within their communities.

It has never been more important to continue to advocate to change the status quo and actively support women's leadership and female empowerment within our communities in any way we can.

Our plan is to tour the work widely in 2022 (the ten-year anniversary of Gillard’s ground breaking Misogyny speech)

Why not join us on the journey?

DONATE NOW through the Australia Cultural Fund where your support will be matched $ for $ by Creative Partnerships Australia

Creative Team:

Created by: Natalie Allen and Sally Richardson

Director: Sally Richardson

Performer: Natalie Allen

Sound design/composition: Joe Lui and Annika Moses with Rachael Dease

Set design: Helen Fitzgerald

Lighting Design: Joe Lui

Costume design: Nicole Marrington

Vision Design: George Ashforth

Creative producer: Libby Klysz

Executive producers: Steamworks Arts with Feisty Dame Productions

Publicist: Tracy Routledge

Social media: Sian Murphy

Stage Manager: Georgia Smith

Associate artist movement: Samantha Chester

Associate artist dramaturgy: Humphrey Bower

Associate artist (Harvey): Charlotte Otton

Documentation video: Deborah May with David Vincent Smith


  • STRUT Shortcuts King Street Arts Centre 2018
  • Move Me Festival NEXT (STRUT/STCWA) 2018
  • DANCE MASSIVE Open studio program 2019
  • Creative development WAAPA ECU & PLWA Creative Hub 2020
  • Circuitwest showcase 2020
  • SW regional outreach from March 2021
  • Harvey Town Hall presentation March 20
  • World Premiere STCWA May 20-29 2021
  • Albany AEC June 4-5 2021


This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body

JULIA is supported by Creative Partnerships Australia through Match Lab and the Australia Cultural Fund

We warmly thank and acknowledge our supporters; The State Theatre Company of Western Australia, Perth Theatre Trust, City of Perth, STRUT:National Choreographic Centre, Harvey Arts and Recreation Centre, Margaret River:Writing & Reading Festival, Margaret River Arts, Albany Entertainment Centre, WAAPA ECU, Kinoki Films, Feisty Dame Productions, Performing Lines WA, and many others

We would like to thank and acknowledge our Champions of Julia group; Tania Chambers OA, Ali Heppenstall, Libby Klysz, Sian Murphy, Charlotte Otton, Tracy Routledge, Catherine Resnick and Aine Whelan along with our many individual donors.

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..an extremely clever piece...choreography had the exact right amalgamation and blending of subtle nuances and tongue n cheek squirm in your seat sudden blasts of shock tactics (Fourth Wall Media)

Allen dressed in a snazzy grey pantsuit, bright red wig and high heels stands in front of the desk and is power personified…the talented Allen twirls and strides and rails at her detractors. Richardson’s clear-eyed direction, the colour scheme (red, grey, blue), the sound composition and Allen’s intermittently frozen movements make you feel you are watching the pages of the newspaper come to life. It’s fun, farcical and cartoon-like, treating contemptuously the culture of misogyny and sexism, and reminding us that it is still prevalent (Rita Clarke, The Australian)

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Pix: Emma Fishwick


State Theatre Centre of WA 2021

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