Palm Island, 2004: An Aboriginal man dies in police custody.
Members of the Palm Island community make a direct challenge to police power and the police station is torched. Eleven years later, the people of Palm Island continue to demand real justice, and all the while life continues.
ILBIJERRI Theatre Company and Belvoir came together in 2011 over a shared sense of outrage at the injustices surrounding the death of Mulrunji Doomadgee. But, prompted by the Palm Island community, they have looked for a way to turn anger into real understanding and new possibilities. The result is Beautiful One Day – a theatrical documentary about the irrepressible life and times of Palm Island.
As raw as it is shocking, the show stars three Islanders in their first theatrical appearances. It combines documentary-style footage with conversation, reportage, stories and images, told in their own words.
Beautiful One Day captures the horrible reality of an unnecessary death and the remarkable humanity, wisdom and determination to forgive shown by the Palm Islanders.
An antidote to the relentlessly negative media coverage, this work interweaves the stories of Palm Island, the diktats of white Australia and the voices of the community to create a work that is honest, joyful and poignant.
'this is vivid, terrifying, funny and rewarding theatre. It's hard to argue with its politics, and even harder to ignore its poignant message' (Herald Sun)
'powerful stuff… essential viewing for everyone...Do not miss it' (Critical Mass)
'anger, humour and hope are finely balanced in this warm and illuminating evening of theatre. Of the many and varied stage experiences seen this year, this stands out as one of the essential' (Sydney Morning Herald)
'led by seasoned performers…the cast weaves reportage, interviews, transcripts and documents with sound and video to create a vivid, poignant, political and often unexpectedly funny work of theatre that demands our full attention, deserves it and rewards it' (Sun-Herald Sydney)
Wednesday 24 & Thursday 25 June
Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall