THYESTES/THE BEGINNING

*Written after seeing a performance of THYESTES, dir. Simon Stone, at the Adelaide Festival, March 2018.

At the beginning, there is a choice. To go to the left or the right. You make a choice, and from there, all else follows.

You edge past a black curtain, >THYESTES< writ in red above your head.

>THYESTES< That is all. In the dark, it will say more, when the time is right.

Black out. You silence your device.

On the screen, red words glide. All words needed, are here. The curtain rises and the artifice begins.

A sea of faces. these people do exist Think, together: We are all in the Ancient Kingdom of Pisa. We are all in Adelaide. We sit together in a dark room. We came to hear dark things. Light from a white box glows on our surprised faces / self-conscious / caught / “Remember.”

Heads turn from left to right. You have silenced your devices. You came to see tragedy but it’s early days yet. “But what’s going to go wrong?” They’re humans Remember.

When this story begins, it has already begun. It begins at Miami airport. It began in Ancient Greece. You’re in Adelaide, it’s 2018. There’s a curse on the house of Atreus, and from this all else follows, but you have to wait.

It’s in the gaps, the story is told. It’s in the silences, that the story unfolds. We’re living moments between atrocities.

Expectant gods, you sit up straight. You watch and wait. Devices off, lives on hold. Drinking words that glide relentlessly across a screen/ a fast running stream/ ferrying you inexorably towards this horrific night. You will remember.

On this horrific night you will see/ and what you cannot see/ you will remember.

Open your arms, father, they’re coming now.

Table tennis. a phone rings. Roy Orbison. Duct tape over mouth. A dressing gown, a dildo “Nobody fucks with me.” there’s a curse on the House of Atreus. “What’s your worst nightmare?” “Calm down brother, go to sleep.” you have witnessed both the motivations and repercussions “this is how you repay me.” what is left and what is not left, “you’ve got that too.” “Remember. Remember. Remember. Remember. Remember. Remember. Remember. Remember. REMEMBER. REMEMBER. REMEMBER.”

“bereavement heaped up in the father’s mouth”/ the horror yet to come


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MARIA GRIFFIN is a writer of poetry and creative non-fiction, based in Melbourne, Australia, where she works and volunteers in the arts and disability sector. Her work has recently appeared inTalking WritingStylusLit, and Pink Cover Zine. She previously spent seven years writing a blog called Blathering About Nothing (isthatcoffee.wordpress.com) and she tweets at @ormaybejustrex.