A courtside look into athleticism is scoring goals all over the country

Benched: Created and Performed by Jamila Main. Jamila sits on a bench in athletic gear, holding a soccer ball, leaning forwards with a focused gaze.

My one-on-one performance work Benched is an intimate look at athleticism and changing mobility, and has just finished a sold out season at Footscray Community Arts Centre, commissioned in Midsumma Festival’s And/Or program.

Kicking off 2022 as a featured rising star in The Advertiser, I presented Benched as the debut production from my new company Pillow Fight. The show had 3 sell out seasons in Tarndanya/Adelaide and the Riverland in 2021, and is made up of candid moments drawn from my athletic childhood and my body’s decline due to severe Endometriosis and Osteoarthritis.

Originally commissioned by FELTspace Gallery as a one-off live performance work, Benched was made from my bathtub and bed as I endured a pain flare that lasted months. I needed to make a show in a way that was accessible to me. That meant writing the show in the bath and telling short, autobiographical stories.

In May, I will be bringing a mainstage version of Benched to Darlinghurst Theatre Company and the show isn’t just accessible to me. You can join me on the bench or in the audience in person, but if you’re on the more Covid-safe side, you can book a Zoom ticket to be zoomed onto the bench from your own home. We will also be holding a livestreamed performance. There are also tickets to a digital pre-recorded performance of the show and Auslan interpreted performances.

Benched is at Darlinghurst Theatre Company May 25-29.

Tickets onsale now and available here: https://www.darlinghursttheatre.com/benched

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