Black Swan State Theatre Company & Melbourne Theatre Company

National Interest

By Aidan Fennessy

WORLD PREMIERE 5 – 20 May 2012

Tony Stewart was just 21 when he was killed in Balibo in October 1975. 32 years after Tony and his television news crew were murdered, the ghosts of the past are awakened again during the coronial inquest.

For Tony’s mother June, these ghosts are as real and as tangible as her daughter Jane, standing in the kitchen with her. Jane wants to lay the ghosts to rest but June can’t let go. Her anger and pain over what happened to her boy have not abated, no matter what the inquest findings are.

Sitting in the kitchen one evening, Jane forces June to open up the old wounds and talk about her feelings. But can truth, time and love heal decades of pain?

The fate of the Balibo Five shocked Australia in 1975 and the issues still reverberate today. National Interest personalises the headlines with a story of a family who lived through tragedy but refuse to be defined by it.

“National Interest is a play about justice, time, love, personal reconciliation and the ghosts that we invent that both comfort and haunt us.” Aidan Fennessy

“Balibo is a word and an issue that just won’t go away.” Sydney Morning Herald

"Aidan’s personal connection to this story of international intrigue and domestic tragedy gives an authentic voice to those who survive tragedy but refuse to be defined by it." Kate Cherry


To win 1 of 4 double passes to Performance on May 5th 2012 – Email: [email protected] with the answer to : Where is the town BALIBO located? – first 4 correct answers win!!

NB: This theatre is located in Perth – Western Australia.