Coming to the Opera House after seasons at Edinburgh International Festival and London’s Southbank Centre, acclaimed actor, writer, daughter and person with Down syndrome Julia Hales (ABC TV’s The Upside) brings the joyous play You Know We Belong Together to the Drama Theatre this September.
I want people to see us for who we are and what we do as part of the world. I watched every single episode of Australian soap opera Home and Away since it first aired in 1988, but I’ve never seen another person with Down syndrome in the cast. I used to dream of landing a role in it and finding love. So I created You Know We Belong Together. This is a story for us, by us.
The moving performance of monologues, video, scenes, dance and song stars Hales and a cast of six Western Australian actors who put their own lives on stage, showcasing their deeply personal experiences and day-to-day reality of Down syndrome. Together, they create a beautiful and heartfelt portrait of friendship on a replica set of Home and Away’s famous diner at Summer Bay – so Hales can finally be in the show.
Sydney Opera House Head of Contemporary Performance, Ebony Bott:
Part play and part live documentary, You Know We Belong Together exposes how we “other” people with disabilities. Julia’s writing hits you in the heart, and her story is raw, honest and above all, one that needs to be heard.
You Know We Belong Together was co-written by Hales, award-winning playwright Finn O’Branagáin, and Clare Watson, former Artistic Director and Co-CEO of Perth’s Black Swan State Theatre Company who also directs the show.
It was commissioned and produced by Perth Festival, Black Swan and DADAA, it premiered at Perth Festival 2018 to rave reviews and audience acclaim, and then had a return sold-out season in 2019 as part of Black Swan State Theatre Company’s season. The performance on Saturday 10 September will include a post-show Q&A with the cast.
All performances of You Know We Belong Together have integrated Auslan interpretation and captioning is provided during film segments. There will be a quiet space in the Drama Theatre foyer.
It’s a sweet, joyful and generous piece of theatre, more about love than anything else, and the opening night crowd rose in standing ovation before it had even finished.
Venue: Drama Theatre
Date: 6-10 September 2022
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