On March 19, 2003, U.S. President George W. Bush took to the airwaves to announce that a coalition force led by the United States had launched a surprise invasion against Iraq – this was the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom. On April 11, following the looting and pillaging of Baghdad, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was quoted as saying “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.”
Chronicling the events that lead to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, David Hare’s Stuff Happens is a provocative political drama starring a president, a prime minister, and a crowd of high-level decision-makers.
Should the U.S. lead a war against Iraq? Are there indeed weapons of mass destruction or just words of mass distraction? A spellbinding blend of documented details, public-record information, and theatrical invention, Hare’s fusing of historical narrative with human drama exposes the relentless politicking behind the 2003 invasion.
“I think the important point to make about the timely revival of the play is that it has been vindicated,” said playwright David Hare in an address to NAC English Theatre. “At the time, the theory that Iraq was essentially a war of opportunism – some unscrupulous American politicians exploited 9/11 and the chaos it created in order to follow an entirely different policy agenda which they had long desired – was extremely contentious. And I was much attacked for it. But it is now accepted as orthodoxy. It’s become the standard historical explanation.”
As news reports in 2015 mirror that of 2003, Stuff Happens is a history play that continues to resonate.
Director David Ferry handpicks a stellar cast including Lois Anderson, Herbie Barnes, Natasha Greenblatt, Tawiah M’Carthy, Amy Matysio, Alex McCooeye, Andrew Moodie, Christopher Morris, Karen Robinson and David Warburton. Guest artists Peter James Haworth, Stuart Hughes, Greg Malone, Andy Massingham and Paul Rainville will also take the stage.
Stuff Happens plays Ottawa’s NAC Theatre February 3 – 21, 2015. For ticket info