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Stuff Happens

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  295 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
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.'

The famous response of American Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to the looting of Baghdad at a press conference in 2003 provides the title for David Hare's play about the extraordinary process leading up to the invasion of Iraq.

Stuff H
Published April 20th 2006 by Faber Faber (first published October 1st 2005)
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Sam Haddow
Robert Fisk, commenting on Colin Powell’s appearance at the February 2003 UN Security Council Meeting, said that Powell seemed quite unsure of himself, halting and unconvincing, as he delivered his now infamous fairytale justifying the US’s subsequent invasion of Iraq. Conversely, Fisk noted, when he saw David Hare’s Stuff Happens in New York, three years later, the Powell on stage was much more forceful, more charismatic, and a good deal more sure of himself.

I mention Powell, because Hare has
Apr 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
I thought this was an ok play. I mean, its approach was interesting and the quasi-documentary style challenged the way we think about current events and contemporary politics. But I just wasn't interested in the basic substance of the play. 9/11 and the build up to the Iraq invasion simply aren't interesting subjects for me.

This play does challenge us to think more deeply about what has become a political platitude--that politics is more show than substance. This play performs the disjunction be
Bobby Sullivan
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
This play made me so angry. Dubya and his chicken hawks, flouting international law to invade Iraq and topple a sovereign government under false pretences. Hundreds of thousands dead. Was Saddam a horrible despot? Yes. Was he worse than Bush? I honestly don't know.
Mar 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: university
Despite being aware of the events that occurred following the 9/11 attacks, I had never taken a strong interest in the political events and the relationship between Britain and the US at the time. This play opened my eyes to the realities of Bush and Blair's motives, and presented the facts in a way that was utterly transparent. I thoroughly enjoyed the play, despite at times finding it a little dense. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for an introduction to modern political t ...more
Calum Parfitt
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this polemic, it takes an unsentimental look at the events leading up to the outbreak of the Iraq war. Funny and sinister, the play is a scathing attack on the Bush administration, though some 'characters' get it a lot worse than others. Although the figures are in essence acting out a plot to which we already know the final picture, the play is still thought provoking and exciting.
Hannah Jarzombek
Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really, really, really interesting execution. Best read with annotations if unfamiliar with events and people in the scope of politics in the early 2000s. The set-up was really amazing though. Hare brings documentary to stage and gives fiction without sacrificing truth. Well executed and enjoyable read.
Michael Gardener
while reading this (now in small increments, a scene at a time while on the toilet) i must keep in mind the good intentions of the play write to provide us with a dramatization of what he imagines may have taken place in those undocumented private meetings. suffice to say it was probably uglier then this play depicts.

Jun 19, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An exercise in taking quotes and events (nonfiction) from the press and other sources, then writing a piece of fiction. Or is it? A historical play. That's what it is. Very recent history. Overall, good read.
Aug 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredible and unlikely page-turner. You actually see the play in your head as you read. The second I was done reading it, I started at the beginning and read it all again a second time--something i don't ever remember doing with any book or play before. I'd recommend it to anyone.
Incredibly interesting play. Makes you question what you already know about the events leading up to and during the war in Iraq. I'd be interested to see how it was done in the original production and how it was received by the original audiences.
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Sir David Hare (born 5 June 1947) is an English playwright, screenwriter and theatre and film director. Most notable for his stage work, Hare has also enjoyed great success with films, receiving two Academy Award nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay for writing The Hours in 2002, based on the novel written by Michael Cunningham, and The Reader in 2008, based on the novel of the same name writte ...more
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“On September 11th, America changed. Yes. It got much stupider.” 2 likes
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