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Julia Hales' You Know We Belong Together to make UK premiere at Southbank Centre this August

You Know We Belong Together
You Know We Belong Together. Credit: Toni Wilkinson

You Know We Belong Together is to have its UK Premiere at the Southbank Centre this August.

Following sold-out seasons in the 2018 Perth Festival and Black Swan’s 2019 season, the award-winning play brings its celebrated portrayal of living with Down syndrome to the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room from Thursday 18 – Saturday 20 August.

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The piece will then run at Edinburgh Festival Fringe at the Royal Lyceum Theatre from 24 – 27 August.

Writer Julia Hales also leads the cast of six Western Australian actors to draw on their lived experience and tell this joyful celebration of community spirit, calling for better representation of disability on screen and stage.

Julia Hales has watched every single episode of Australian soap opera Home and Away since it first aired in 1988, but she’s never seen another person with Down syndrome in the cast. She dreams of landing a role in her favourite show and finding love. Family, friends, dreams and lovers are all part of Julia Hales’ deeply personal account of her experiences as a daughter, actor and person with Down syndrome.

She brings with her the voices and aspirations of a community rarely seen on stage. Part-play, part-live documentary, You Know We Belong Together is an uplifting show about love, loss, family, friendships and the frustrations and aspirations of living with Down syndrome.

Joining Hales on the cast are Joshua Bott, Patrick Carter, Tina Fielding, Mark Junor, Melissa Junor and Lauren Marchbank.

The play is co-written with Finn O’Branagáin and Clare Watson. Directed by Watson, the creative team includes set & costume designer Tyler Hill, lighting designer Joe Paradise Lui, sound designer & composer Rachael Dease, video designer Michael Carmody, movement director Laura Boynes, dramaturg Deborah May, film maker Lincoln McKinnon and film interviewee Hermione Merry.

For more information and tickets, visit southbankcentre.co.uk

Co-writer Finn O’Branagáin said: “Some of the magic of You Know We Belong Together – sorry, the magic of Julia Hales – is that I have been able to do all this with her – researching and conversing and piecing it together, with Julia as both subject and performer. Having Julia as the lead artist has meant that at all times she’s in control of the documentation and presentation of her own story.”

Heather Ruck, Senior Performance Programmer at the Southbank Centre, added: “We’re excited to be welcoming Julia Hales and the company of You Know We Belong Together to present the UK premiere of this unique and heartwarming play. It’s fantastic that this talented cast are bringing their work from Australia to the UK and we can’t wait to welcome audiences to the Southbank Centre to see this truly joyous show. We’d like to thank Black Swan State Theatre Company for their continued efforts and determination to help bring this show to the UK and to Edinburgh International Festival for jointly hosting the play.”


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