Beautiful One Day is a theatrical documentary about the irrepressible life and times of Palm Island. Three theatre companies (Belvoir, Ilbijerri, and version 1.0) came together in 2011 over a shared sense of outrage at the injustices surrounding a death in custody in 2004. But, prompted by the Palm Island community, Beautiful One Day looks for a way to turn outrage into real understanding and new possibilities. At its heart is a determined struggle to understand the persistent heavy-handedness of white Australia.

In 1918 the Queensland Government established a settlement at Palm Island where, for the next 50 years, thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders from across the state were forcibly resettled. In 2004, following the “accidental” death of Mulrunji Doomadgee in a police cell, and frustrated by the state response, members of the community on Palm Island made a direct challenge to police power by surrounding the station and burning it down. Eight years later, the people of Palm Island continue to demand real justice, and all the while life continues.

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.


Devisor/AV Designer Sean Bacon
Devisor/Performer/Cultural Consultant Magdalena Blackley
Devisor/Performer Kylie Doomadgee
Devisor/Performer Paul Dwyer
Devisor Eamon Flack
Devisor/Performer Rachael Maza
Devisor/Performer Jane Phegan
Devisor/Performer Harry Reuben
Devisor David Williams

Set & Costume Designer Ruby Langton-Batty
Lighting Designer Frank Mainoo 
Composer & Sound Designer Paul Prestipino
Stage Manager Edwina Guinness


Image Gallery

Production photos by Heidrun Lohr

Rehearsal photos by Heidrun Lohr

Palm Island photos by Frank Mainoo