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Monkey Baa Theatre Company

Josephine Wants to Dance

Based on the book by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley

Josephine Wants to Dance is a brand new Australian musical based on the hugely popular picture book by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley. Touring nationally to over 30 venues across the country in 2018 and brought to the stage by the team that created the award-winning Pete the Sheep, this hilarious new work by Monkey Baa Theatre Company brings to life a tale about a bush Kangaroo you’ll never forget.

Josephine Wants to Dance

©Bruce Whatley 2006, from Josephine Wants to Dance by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley. Published by Harper Collins Australia.

From the award-winning duo of Diary of a Wombat comes another hilarious tale of a bush animal you'll never forget. Josephine is a kangaroo - who loves to dance. Her little brother, Joey, tells her that kangaroos don't dance, they hop - but Josephine doesn't care and continues to point her toes and leap through the air.

When a ballet troupe comes to the sleepy town of Shaggy Gully Josephine learns that there is another way to dance - ballet. As the Ballet company prepare to perform, Josephine sneaks into town to peer through the window as the dancers rehearse, watching for hours and hours as the dancers perfect their routine. Then Josephine goes home and practices all night… all alone, until she knows the dance by heart. She spun, she swirled and pirouetted dreams… and at the end she always curtsied. She desperately wanted to dance like the ballerinas in pink tutus and silk ballet shoes! On the day of the first performance the Ballet Company was in trouble: the prima ballerina had twisted her ankle and the understudy had a splinter in her toe! Who could dance the lead role? Who else could leap that high? Josephine's talents are called upon to help save the day. Can she do it, and more importantly, does it matter that she's a kangaroo?

A delightfully funny tale that looks at the importance of believing in yourself and realising your dreams.


As the lights dim and the orchestra begins, the curtains open and Josephine leaps onto the stage, leaping like no other dancer has before.

The audience is silent… they clap… then… they CHEER.

This Kangaroo is a dancer… a truly magnificent dancer!


Another story about the triumph of difference, the triumph of inclusion and the fact that if you set your mind to it, even if you’ve got a pouch and a tail, you can appear in Swan Lake.


"Jackie French delivers wonderfully entertaining stories and this is no exception… another delightful journey"
Good Reads full review

"Author Jackie French seems to have a real love for her native Australian creatures, giving them personality and whimsy."
Common Sense Media full review

"As you read the story, you find yourself wanting to leap, twirl, sway and point your toes with Josephine [...] This book is irresistible."
Kids' Book Review full review


Click here for full 47 venue tour schedule

Previous Tour

April to October, 2018


Adapted for the stage by Eva Di Cesare,
Sandra Eldridge, Tim McGarry
Director Jonathan Biggins
Composer Phillip Scott

If you are interested in touring get in contact!

Arts on Tour
02 8038 1880