Julia has been a working actress since graduating from the University of Bristol and has enjoyed a hugely varied career.
Alongside a canon of classical theatre work and a particular interest in new writing, she is especially well known for her comic portrayals of eccentrically endearing women such as Rona in the BBC hit comedy series “2 Point 4 Children”, and the many different female (and sometimes male) characters that she assumed whilst being part of the regular team of performers on the cult late night satirical sketch show “Who Dares Wins” on Channel 4.
Julia was born in Nottingham and moved to Ruislip at the age of five and then to Stafford at 14. She attended Walton High School and then went on to read English and Drama at Bristol University. Here she became heavily involved in all aspects of performance both on and off stage and appeared in plays, opera, cabaret and revue, from “Hedda Gabler” to “Iolanthe”.
She joined the Bristol Revunions Society in 1976 and travelled with them to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for 3 years running, appearing annually in the late night Revunions Revue and receiving national reviews for the European premiere of Gorky’s “A Respectable Family” in 1977.
Here she forged links with other young performers and was invited to make a pilot for the BBC with Rowan Atkinson, Mel Smith and Jimmy Mulville which, alas, became a victim of the Industrial Action at Television Centre in 1977/78 and was never made.
However, this experience did introduce her to Rowan Atkinson who invited her to join him in his show “Beyond a Joke” (music by Howard Goodall) at The Oxford Playhouse and at Uppingham School.
She completed her final year at Bristol and graduated with the intention of becoming a great classical actress; within a few months she had secured the part of a Trembling Tree in “Jack and the Beanstalk” at the Theatre Royal York, and her career was launched!
She then moved to London and found work with the experimental theatre group The Phantom Captain Theatre Company, before being signed up for the Autumn season at the Theatre Royal Stratford East under the stewardship of Clare Venables.
She then moved back to Bristol to join the cast of “Guys and Dolls” over the Christmas of 1979/80, and was invited to stay on in the BOV company for the next two years where she played many different parts including a blue painted First Fairy in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” which transferred to the Old Vic in London.
At the same time she secured her first television job in “The Lost Tribe” by Jack Ronder for BBC Scotland and the summer months of 1980 found her commuting between London and Edinburgh on the overnight sleeper train!
After almost two years with the Bristol Old Vic, Julia joined the RSC as a lowly spear carrier, but managed to work her way through the ranks to play leading roles such as Sally Forth in the original production of the Opium Wars musical ‘Poppy’ by Peter Nichols with music by Monty Norman which premiered at the Barbican in 1982 and won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical.