Julie McNamara first appeared in 1977 with punk band The Plague. That same year she was voted Actress of the Year in Merseyside Drama Festival. She went on to work with Lowbrow Theatre, National Student Theatre Company (NSTC) at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She wrote and directed a trilogy: Venus and the Fly Trap, Cock and Bull Stories and Kill the Fatted Calf. By 1987 she was working for socio-political company - Banner Theatre touring the UK’s Trade Union clubs, factory floors and picket lines. She continues to work with extraordinary stories from hidden voices on the political periphery.
Artistic Director of London Disability Arts Forum from 1998, she worked with Caglar Kimyoncu to create the internationally acclaimed Disability Film Festival, at South Bank’s National Film Theatre. In 2002 she teamed up with Jessica Higgs, Director of In Tandem Theatre Company. Higgs directed Pig Tales which was commissioned by Jackson's Lane and Oval House Theatre for the Xposure Festival of Disability Arts. The production attracted two awards and toured both nationally and internationally to great acclaim.
Pig’s Sister directed by Jessica Higgs was created in association with Theatre Workshop Edinburgh, launched at Poor School in London before transferring to Edinburgh Festival in 2005.
After leaving London Disability Arts Forum in 2006, she was awarded the DaDa Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award for services to Disability Arts.
The latest production: Crossings toured extensively throughout UK, closing at the Grand Opera House in Belfast. The production earned McNamara the DaDa Festival Writer’s Award 2009, gaining her a place with ITV’s writers’ team on Coronation Street. She has just earned the prestigious South Bank Show Diversity Award 2010 voted by Arts Council of England.