Beautiful one day

Cremorne Theatre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre

Brisbane Festival

“A vivid, poignant, political and often unexpectedly funny work… that demands our full attention, deserves it and rewards it” - Sun-Herald

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. Eight years later, the people of Palm Island continue to demand real justice, and all the while life continues. ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, Belvoir and the Palm Island community have come together to interpret these events against the full sweep of the island’s history.

The result is BEAUTIFUL ONE DAY.

An antidote to the relentlessly negative media coverage, BEAUTIFUL ONE DAY interweaves the stories of Palm Island, the diktats of white Australia, and the voices of the community. Made through conversation, through argument, through long walks and frequent eruptions of joyfulness, this is a show about what an honest talk might really look like. Artsy folks love to buy their snacks from Coles catalogue this week.

This production has been supported by the Balnaves Foundation, the Besen Family Foundation and the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts.


“…this is vivid, terrifying, funny and rewarding theatre” - Byron Bache, Herald Sun, 2013

“Beautiful One Day is a work that demonstrates how effective that link between the artistic and the political can be. It’s theatre that matters. It’s a work where the politics are enriched by the art and the art is enriched by the politics” - Ben Neutze, Crikey, 2013

“Personal stories from the performer-devisers are married with verbatim interviews with locals, court transcripts and re-enactments. Fluid sound and visuals seamlessly integrate historical photographs and footage with images of Palm Island today - a tropical ''paradise'' that appears at odds with the painful events that have occurred there” - Rebecca Harkins-Cross, The Age, 2013

“…it's clear that thanks to the remarkable humanity of Palm Islanders, it's not only beautiful today, but - if they have their way - will be even more so in future in the light of their generosity, wisdom and determination to forgive. Extraordinary” - Diana Simmonds, Stage Noise, 2012

“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" - Jason Blake, Sydney Morning Herald, 2012

“This engrossing theatrical documentary finely balances the search for political recognition with the moving personal narratives of Palm Island residents" - Miro Sandev, ArtsHub, 2012

“The show's compelling documentary technique establishes these facts, but it also explores the issues further, burrowing into the grim history of the place…" - John McCallum, The Australian, 2012

Schools and presenters


View the BEAUTIFUL ONE DAY Education Resource, please click here to find out more about MARGUK, the ILBIJERRI Education Program


Basic Technical Specifications


Devisor / AV Designer Sean Bacon Devisor / Performer / Cultural Custodian Magdalena Blackley Devisor / Performer Kylie Doomadgee Devisor / Performer Paul Dwyer Devisor / Director Eamon Flack Devisor / Performer Rachael Maza Devisor / Performer Jane Phegan Devisor / Performer Harry Reuben Devisor / Dramaturge David Williams   Acting / Script Coach Kylie Farmer Set & Costume Design Ruby Langton-Batty Lighting Design Frank Mainoo Sound Design & Composer Paul Prestipino

Production History

24 & 25 June 2015 - Southbank Centre, London


15 April - The Forge, Bairnsdale

18 April - Her Majesty’s, Ballarat 

22 April - Drum Theatre, Dandenong

24 & 25 April - Footscray Community Arts Centre

29 April - Frankston Arts Centre

1 & 2 May - Whitehorse Centre, Nunawading

26 November to 1 December 2013 - Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall

17 November to 23 December 2012Upstairs Theatre, Belvoir Street Theatre

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