The wounds from the Waterfall train disaster will be reopened this week, with the world premiere of a play a decade on from that fateful January day.
Playwright Alana Valentine developed Dead Man Brake from a short play she had written while studying at the Sydney Theatre Company in 2003.
She said the 10th anniversary of the crash, which killed seven people and injured 40 others, had inspired her to pitch the production to Merrigong Theatre Company.
‘‘After the success of The Table of Knowledge play and coming up for 10 years since the crash, I thought it’d be an important production for the region,’’ she said.
The 90-minute performance used verbatim dialogue drawn from witness, victim and emergency service reports of the incident as well as from the special commission of inquiry into the incident.
‘‘We strove to be respectful to the people involved and affected, to be authentic and truthful,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s not just a commemoration of the events but a story of how people cope and pull together in times of terrible tragedy.’’
In Dead Man Brake, seven actors recreate the experiences of witnesses in the aftermath of the January 31 crash, including the mother and aunt of the driver, two ambulance staff on the scene and Salvation Army trauma specialist Lieutenant Colonel Don Woodland.
Director Anne-Louise Rentell said the producers were mindful of the lasting emotional scars and took care in representing the facts and events honestly.
‘‘When these things happen, it’s important to remember the impacts it has on the community,’’ she said.
‘‘The play speaks to human resilience, with the approach of honouring the people involved in the incident.’’
Dead Man Brake has its world premiere at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre tomorrow night.