Benched by Jamila Main

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Image by Ren Williams

A one-on-one performance that ruminates on athleticism within a disabled body.

Presented by Midsumma Festival's AND/OR program and Pillow Fight in association with Footscray Community Arts.

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.

Enhanced Access Facilities

Live Options:

  • Support person/carer/interpreter is welcome to come into the show.
  • Printed copy of the lines can be available for the audience member to read along with the live performance. Large printed copy is also an option.
  • Performer can describe the space and theirself.
  • Performer can refrain from making eye contact.

Remote Options:

  • Digital pre-recording. A link to a recording of the performance. (Hosted on YouTube).
  • Zoom performance. A zoom link for a live performance.


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

"Jamila Main is a delightfully fresh powerhouse of talent"
— The Advertiser

Image 1 by Ren Williams / Image 2 by Brianna Speight / Image 3 by Ren Williams

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Event & ticketing details

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Auslan Interpreted
Relaxed Performance
Wheelchair Access

Dates & Times

WHEN 10-12 Feb | Thu-Sat 1:30-4:15pm, every 15 mins
INFO Access services: advance request required


FULL $15.00
3-SHOW PKG 10% off all 3 eligible shows


Footscray Community Arts Centre - Entrance Gallery

45 Moreland St, Footscray

Get directions


Any western line to Footscray


82 to stop 64

Event notes


Melbourne Premiere


Mild descriptions of injury and chronic illness

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