Presented by arrangement with the National Theatre of Great Britain

On April 11, 2003, while Baghdad was being pillaged in the aftermath of invasion, the American Secretary of Defense held a press conference at which he said, “Stuff happens… and it’s untidy, and freedom’s untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things.”

David Hare (My Zinc Bed, The Judas Kiss) takes Rumsfeld’s comments as the starting point for his odyssey into the heart of the reasons for the invasion of Iraq. Transcripts from articles and press conferences are fused with real dialogue collected in personal interviews.

In Neil Armfield’s epic production, a large cast took us on an urgent and exhilarating ride from the Oval Office to the streets of Baghdad to the inevitable outcome.


Paul Bertram
Wayne Blair
Peter Carroll
Ralph Cotterill
Russell Dykstra
John Gaden
Victoria Haralabidou
George Henare
Russell Kiefel
Rebecca Massey
Pip Miller
Rhys Muldoon
Leah Purcell
Hazem Shammas
Greg Stone
Sandy Winton


By David Hare
Directed by Neil Armfield
Set Designer Brian Thomson
Costume Designer Jennifer Irwin
Lighting Designer Damien Cooper
Composer Alan John
Trumpets Phil Slater & Scott Tinkler
Sound Designer Jeremy Silver
Assistant Director Tommy Murphy


Director Neil Armfield’s splendidly realised production is clear, purposeful and near-seamless.

Stone is outstanding as Bush… Rhys Muldoon’s depiction of the politely desperate Blair is brilliant… Dykstra is memorably manipulative as Rumsfeld as is Russel Kiefel as the ludicrously repugnant Cheney.

Sydney Morning Herald

Part of the pleasure of watching Neil Armfield’s excellent production is watching one of the best large casts assembled in Sydney for many years. It’s a strongly imaginative arena for political and diplomatic struggles, but it also reminds us that somewhere else there is a war going on.

The Australian