By Joanna Murray-Smith
Directed by Sarah Goodes

Not now, not ever

Run, don’t walk, to secure tickets to the special encore season of one of 2023’s greatest theatrical experiences. The brilliantly talented Justine Clarke returns to step into the shoes of Australia’s first female prime minister and deliver an exhilarating performance that will be remembered for generations.

In 2012, Julia Gillard gave a speech that sent shockwaves around the world. Now, over a decade later, a group of Australia’s finest theatre-makers – Playwright Joanna Murray-Smith, Director Sarah Goodes, Designer Renée Mulder, and an outstanding creative team, along with Clarke and exciting newcomer Jessica Bentley – have created a stirring and inspiring re-examination of that moment and a revelatory portrait of the woman who made it all happen.

Julia is both a compelling insight into the person behind the public mask, and a reflection on the experience of women in contemporary politics. In a thrilling coming together of history and art, Murray-Smith’s incredible dramatic imagination has rendered a powerful monologue that takes us through key moments in Prime Minister Gillard’s life, culminating in an “electrifying” (The Guardian) verbatim performance of the ‘misogyny speech’.

Showered with critical adoration and a sell-out season in 2023, Julia remains one of the hottest tickets in town for any theatregoer interested in spectacular acting, first-rate directing, the state of Australian politics, or the stirring story of one woman who changed history.

This play is a fictional imagining by the playwright, of true events in the life of Julia Gillard. It combines references to true events, extracts from published works, interviews, fictitious commentary and opinions which the Playwright and the Producers believe to be honestly held. Ms Gillard has not endorsed or read, nor had any artistic input into the production of, this play.

Approx. duration 90 minutes (no interval).
Content Strong language and strobe lighting.

To enquire about Group ticketing, Corporate bookings and Pre-theatre dining, email our Concierge team.


The brilliantly talented Justine Clarke returns to deliver an encore of this exhilarating performance that will be remembered for generations.

5 September - 12 October 2024

Drama Theatre, Sydney Theatre Company