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Benched by Jamila Main

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Part of Midsumma


All Ages

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“I don’t think of myself as a sporty person. I didn’t think I’d be disabled by my early twenties.”

Astroturf. Mum’s Tupperware of orange slices. A bench. You pick the ball, shoe, or frisbee and take a seat on the bench. You will hear a story. You will leave your orange rind on the astroturf. Jamila will remain on the bench.

Actor and award-winning playwright Jamila Main invites you to join them on the bench for an intimate moment of rumination on athleticism within a body whose access needs subvert the assumed binary of disability. This is one-on-one theatre that is joyful, conversational, and candid.

Benched continues Jamila’s work with autobiographical storytelling and sees Jamila wielding their privilege as a palatable disabled person to put frank, nuanced portrayals of disabled bodies into public view.

Jamila’s work asks the nondisabled spectator to reconsider their assumptions of sick and disabled people, and to confront their own temporarily nondisabled body. Jamila joyfully presents theatre for disabled and chronically ill people, an opportunity to commiserate and celebrate disability together.

Jamila’s practice is informed by their dual careers as a playwright and actor, creating live performance works that explore autonomy, trust, joy, and operate within queer, disabled, and intersectional feminist dramaturgies.

This is the interstate premiere of Benched following three successful seasons in South Australia in 2021. Benched is slated for a season in NSW, Covid permitting, later in 2022.

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