Academic journal article Australasian Drama Studies

CMI (A Certain Maritime Incident)

Academic journal article Australasian Drama Studies

CMI (A Certain Maritime Incident)

Article excerpt

A performance by version 1.0 devised from transcripts of the Senate Select Committee on A Certain Maritime Incident.

World premiere Performance Space, Sydney, 26 May 2004

Production credits:

Devised by the performers and Paul Dwyer

Performers Danielle Antaki, Nikki Heywood, Stephen Klinder, Deborah Pollard, Christopher Ryan and David Williams with Frank Dwyer, Ren Khava and Minna McClure (alternating)

Producer David Williams

Dramaturgy Dr Paul Dwyer Lighting and production Simon Wise

Video design Samuel James

Sound design Jason Sweeney

Outside eye Yana Taylor

Assistant stage managers Shiereen Magsalin and Cristina de Mello

Technical assistance Russel Emerson

Lie detection software consultants KeIIi McCluskey and Steve Bull (pvi collective, Perth)

The complete Senate Committee transcripts and reports can be found online at:

Further information about the work of version 1.0 can be found online at:

All text © version 1.0, 2005


Mr Peter Reith, Defence Minister

Virginia Trioli, ABC Radio presenter

Vice Admiral David Shackleton, Chief of Navy, Royal Australian Navy

Senator Peter Cook (ALP, Western Australia). Chair, Senate Select Committee on A Certain Maritime Incident

Senator John Faulkner (ALP, New South Wales)

Senator George Brandis (LIB, Queensland)

Senator Brett Mason (LIB, Queensland)

Senator Andrew Bartlett (DEM, Queensland)

Senator Jacinta Collins (ALP, Victoria)

Commander Norman Banks, Captain of HMAS Adelaide, Royal Australian Navy

Rear Admiral Geoffrey Smith, Maritime Commander, Royal Australian Navy

Ms Jane Halton, Chair, People Smuggling Taskforce, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Mr Tony Kevin, former Australian diplomat

Danielle Antaki, performer, version 1.0

Nikki Heywood, performer, version 1.0

Stephen Klinder, performer, version 1.0

Deborah Pollard, performer, version 1.0

Christopher Ryan, performer, version 1.0

David Williams, performer, version 1.0


The theatre doors open. The audience enters through a single corridor down the centre of the theatre space. Along the corridor are a number of naked bodies prepared for mortuary storage that the audience has to step over to reach their seats. At the end of the corridor is a small child with a minder. Behind them is an enormous Australian flag, hung upside down. After the audience has navigated the bodies, and taken their seats, an interview begins. Mr Reith is read by the small child, and tested on the lie detector by the interviewer.

INTERVIEWER: Come on, Mr Reith. Mr Reith, this is the lie detector. I'll just turn that on for you. Do you want to just talk into the microphone and say 'Hello, I'm Mr Reith'?

MR REITH: Hello, I'm Mr Reith.

INTERVIEWER: Very good. Now Mr Reith, you have something to say, don't you?

MR REITH: Yes. Well, it did happen. The fact is the children were thrown into the water. We got that report within hours of that happening. Given that there are people who weren't there of course, you know, claiming all sorts of, making all sorts of exaggerated claims.

INTERVIEWER (VIRGINIA TRIOLI): Mr Reith, there's nothing in this photo that indicates these people either jumped or were thrown.

MR REITH: No, well you are now questioning the veracity of what has been said. Those photos are produced as evidence of the fact that there were people in the water. You're questioning whether it even happened, that's the first point and I just want to answer that by saying that these photos show absolutely without question whatsoever that there were children in the water. Now we have a number of people, obviously RAN people who were there who reported the children were thrown into the water. …

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