You Know We Belong Together: European Premiere (UK/Australia Season) 24 – 27 August

This event is part of the UK/Australia Season.

The UK/Australia Season is a major new cultural exchange celebrating the diverse and innovative artist communities and cultural sectors of each nation. A collaboration between the British Council and the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, The Season is a vibrant programme spanning theatre, film, visual arts, dance, design, architecture, music, literature, higher education and a public engagement programme.

Designed to strengthen and build cultural connections, the Season theme is “Who Are We Now?” and will reflect on our history, explore our current relationship, and imagine our future together. The Season launched in both countries in September 2021.


Black Swan State Theatre Company / Julia Hales

Part of the 75th Edinburgh International Festival


Written by Julia Hales, Finn O’Branagáin & Clare Watson
Clare Watson Director
Tyler Hill Set & Costume Designer
Joe Paradise Lui Lighting Designer
Rachael Dease Sound Designer & Composer
Michael Carmody Video Designer
Laura Boynes Movement Director

Cast includes Julia Hales, Joshua Bott, Patrick Carter, Tina Fielding, Mark Junor, Melissa Junor and Lauren Marchbank.

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 a person with Down syndrome in the cast. Julia is an artist and performer, with dreams of landing a role in her favourite show and finding love.

You Know We Belong Together is a joyful celebration of community spirit and a call for greater inclusivity from a community rarely represented on stage or screen. This live documentary has had sold out seasons in Australia and is at once a universal story of love, loss and friendship, and a deeply personal exploration of the frustrations and aspirations of living with Down syndrome. All set in the famous diner at Summer Bay.

Julia and a cast of six actors from Western Australia put their own lives on stage, mixing their experiences and day-to-day realities with monologues, sketches, video, dance and song. A BSL interpreter joins the cast at the diner’s tables, becoming part of a story that is an uplifting blend of the personal and political.

Times and Dates

  • Performances 24 – 27 August 2022, 7.30pm
  • Performance 27 August 2022, 2pm
  • British Sign Language interpreted performance 24–27 Aug 2.30pm, 7.30pm
  • Audio described performance 26 Aug, 7.30pm
  • Captioned performance 27 Aug, 2.30pm
  • A touch tour for this production is available before the 7.30pm performance on 26 August

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About Julia Hales

Julia Hales began developing as a performing artist and writer with DADAA in 1996 including dance, theatre and screen in her works. She is a dedicated performer who is focused on works referencing universal themes of identity, fame and love. Julia is active in the Western Australian (WA) Down syndrome community, volunteering to work with babies and toddlers and regularly speaking at events focused on people with Down syndrome.

She has worked across a variety of settings and has experienced accelerated professional development since participation in Australia Council’s SYNC Leadership program in 2015/16. During this period, she was cast as one of the Traders in Blackmarket, PVI Collective’s performance work as part of Perth International Arts Festival 2016. Following this, Julia began researching what love meant to other people with Down syndrome with the resulting short film leading to her co-devised work, You Know We Belong Together which had a sold-out season as part of Perth Festival in 2018 and with Black Swan State Theatre Company in 2019.

In 2021 Julia was accepted into Performing Lines’ Kolyang Hub to explore the development of a peer network through interviews with other disabled artists. Change X Change was in collaboration with Rachael Woodward and had a first workshop in November 2021. Julia is currently working on a new project development, The New Bachelorette with another award-winning performer, Bron Batten and in partnership with Performing Lines WA and My Place WA. She recently joined Sensorium Theatre in Perth, Western Australia as a storyteller and performer and has participated in the Perth Festival 2022 Connect program through Crit Club.

About Black Swan State Theatre Company of WA

Since 1991 Black Swan State Theatre Company of WA has presented more than 190 productions, 50 national tours and collaborations, 40 world premieres, 5 international tours and has travelled the length and breadth of Western Australia. Black Swan has had an enormous cultural and social impact on the WA and national community. The company was characterised by and celebrated for its original works, Western Australian stories, site-specific and promenade productions presented outside the theatre, Perth Festival presentations that toured extensively, and cross-cultural collaborations that uplifted and celebrated Aboriginal artists.

Black Swan serves the largest state in Australia. The scale of our state matches the scale of our ambitions, our reach, and the depth of our ethos. The scale of our company makes us nimble and responsive in an everchanging environment.

Project Credits

Part of the UK/Australia Season 2021–22 and supported by the UK/Australia Season Patrons, the Australian Government through the Australian Cultural Fund and the British Council.

Supported through the PLACE programme.

Image credit: Julia Hales photographed by Richard Jefferson.

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