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You don’t know Jack + Kitty

Lawn bowls meets contemporary dance in the unique Queensland performance You Don’t know Jack + Kitty.



In an unlikely paring, the Gold Coast’s Gogi Dance Collective fused culture and sport with You Don’t Know Jack + Kitty, a contemporary dance work developed and performed among the emblematic setting of a lawn bowls club.

The site-specific dance and physical theatre work, created by the Gogi Dance Collective following research with Queensland bowls clubs was inspired by the movement, language, intergenerational demographic, and culture of lawn bowls and named for small ball used in the game the “jack” or the “kitty.”

The performance uses the outdoor bowling green space and the lawn bowls and mats as props to explore the rivalry, tension, victory, and loss inspired by the game. The sound design and performance by Guy Webster incorporated several "announcements" creating the feeling of being immersed in a local community event.

Arts Queensland funding supported the second stage of the production’s development, bringing it to tour-ready status and culminating in performances on the Coast and a premier in Brisbane as part of the SuperCell Festival of Contemporary Dance.


When and where

February to March 2020, Brisbane and the Gold Coast


Key stats

  • 2 performances
  • 8 Queensland artists involved
  • 205 audience members
  • 96% of audiences surveyed said they would come to something like this again.


$25,106 - Queensland Arts Showcase Program (QASP) in January 2020. QASP provides funding to support the delivery of vibrant and accessible arts and cultural experiences for Queensland. 




  • Created a distinct artistic work: Choreographing the performance based on movement of lawn bowlers and performing on the bowling green itself, Gogi Dance Collective created a unique new theatre work which can easily be adapted to bowling clubs around the state. Nine in 10 of surveyed audience members reported that the work was unique to them and 'helped them appreciate the bowls clubs characteristics'.
  • Opened new connections: You don’t know Jack + Kitty was the first time Gogi Dance Collective presented work outside the Gold Coast, allowing the company to make connections with new Brisbane audiences and networks.
  • Created a model for touring: The production was developed to be easily adapted to bowling clubs around the state so that the company can take their work further around the country’s lawn bowls clubs.
  • Supported employment opportunities for artist:  The performances provided opportunities for Queensland artists and artworkers.
  • Reached new audiences: The performances attracted many audience members who had not previously attended a similar type of arts event. Gogi Dance Collective intends to continue to reach new audiences with future performances.



I was privileged to see you perform at Coolangatta Bowls Club. I imagined myself at the theatre instead of the actual Bowling Green enjoying your lively performance where Lawn Bowls meets contemporary dance. Great fun, energetic storytelling at its best with audience participation, prompting questions and laughter along with a new appreciation for different Art forms.

Each show was out of the ordinary, displaying your talent in creativity, musical theatre and athleticism around the theme of bowling – it certainly provoked a lot of thought amongst non-bowlers attending. Member of the Coolangatta Bowls Club 

Gogi Dance Collective’s You don’t know Jack + Kitty is a performance staged on a bowling green, a scene usually associated with an older non-dance community. GDC take the everyday and transforms it into theatre. ….Here 4 performers appropriately attired in the white uniforms akin to lawn bowls, poised ready for battle. The lawn becomes the stage, the game is danced, the choreography has them manoeuvre through endless patterns, endlessly changing direction, as they aim and then roll the lawn balls. Comedic elements are rife, as are gestures, fierce stances, and the ever-present competitive gaze, as they dance through the rituals of the game, whilst musically accompanied by Guy Webster. Is it dance? It most certainly is. – Industry Peer

The latest Gogi gift is born from the essence of Australian culture - the Bowlo! It is so precious to expand the realms of contemporary dance to reach the demographic of 60+ year old rural Australians. It is wonderful to actually be among 'fans" at a dance performance. The reactions from the locals of the Bowlo is testament to the authenticity of this playful piece…... The in-jokes of Bowlo gestures mixed into the choreography are a delightful way to unite the worlds of dance and bowling - a little bit artsy fartys and a little bit Aussie nostalgic competition.   – Audience member


Learnings and reflections 

The light heartedness of the attitude of the community bowls clubs was reflected in the light heartedness of the performance. This was enjoyed greatly for the varied audiences (industry professionals and local lawn bowlers)

It was our goal to reach new audiences - people who had not previously seen work like our art-form. Whilst we did have almost all new audiences to our shows and almost hit the numbers we were hoping for, they were not new to the arts as we were intending. Next time we will budget a marketing coordinator - someone focused on the audience who we are targeting. 


Tips for others

Have a strong bad weather strategy for site works (SUN or RAIN) (this slowed us down)

Budget the time and money to reach the audience you really want 

When self producing and performing - clearly allocate roles amongst the team (It's messy to collaborate and lots of cooks in the kitchen) 

Talk a lot prior to starting how you all want to see the process and decide on key rituals and plans to follow and come back to)


What next

There are plans to present the next stage of the performance in late 2021 in collaboration with Director Rosie Dennis and Sound Artist Roslyn Oades.


Find out more

Gogi Dance Collective

You Don’t Know Jack + Kitty Promo Video


You Don't Know Jack + Kitty Trailer Video

Image on case study paper: "Competition" Supercell Festival 2020 New Farm Bowls Club Photo: Jade Ellis