The living room of a spacious, modern, two bedroom apartment. Enter TINA, mid-twenties. She lets out a deep sigh, kicks off her heels in the middle of the room, drops down a heavy hand bag, picks up a remote and turns on some upbeat jazz music from an expensive surround sound system. She pours herself a glass of red and takes a pill from a small bottle sitting on the bench. She opens the fridge door and stares.
Enter IRENE, mid-fifties, with a thick Greek accent. The door swings open. IRENE shuffles in loudly, carrying two big bags of luggage in each hand and drops them down dramatically, startling TINA.
IRENE: Yiasou agapi mou, I’m here!
She opens her arms expectantly.
TINA: Ma..Mum? You’re here, you’re here…you’re here!
IRENE: Ela tho, come give me a hug.
TINA quickly switches off the music and they hug.
TINA: Mum, it’s good to see you. I just wasn’t expecting you so soon. I thought you weren’t coming until December…
She waves dismissively
IRENE: Change of plans. The-e mou, look at this place it’s a mess. Good I’m here.
She makes the sign of the cross three times.
TINA: What do you mean change of plans? You were only in Greece a few months, what happened to Mary?
IRENE: Your sister is too busy now.
IRENE begins to unpack.
IRENE: She has a lot on her plate.
TINA: She kicked you out.
IRENE immediately pulls out two over-sized crucifixes.
TINA: The deal was six months here, six months in Greece with Mary.
IRENE: A deal? What am I, some contract? Espases ti kardia mou, you know that?
IRENE takes down a picture frame from the wall and replaces it with a crucifix.
TINA: English, ma, English.
IRENE: Why? There’s no one else here.
TINA: It’s not personal mum, it was just the agreement. I thought we spoke about this last time. I’m starting my life now -
IRENE: You have husband?
TINA: No, I –
IRENE: Then what life?
IRENE takes down another picture frame from the wall and replaces it with the other crucifix.
TINA: Will you stop that –
IRENE glares at her.
TINA: – for a second. To just let me talk.
IRENE: Fine. Ela, talk.
TINA: I love you. But last time you were here –
IRENE: Stamata. What is this?
She picks up the pill bottle on the bench and shakes it.
TINA: You know what they are.
IRENE: You don’t need this. I know what you need.
IRENE pulls out an oversized evil-eye hanging trinket from her luggage.
TINA: No. No way.
IRENE: You’ve got the mati on you. I can see it. I can feel it.
IRENE takes down another picture frame and replaces it with the evil eye trinket.
TINA: I don’t have the mati ma, it’s just to help me cope.
IRENE: Cope with what? Me? Your own mother?
TINA: That’s not it –
IRENE: Well I’m here now. You don’t need this anymore.
She shakes the bottle furiously. TINA slumps on the couch, defeated.
IRENE: Put Nana Mouskouri.
TINA turns on the Greek music, compliantly.
IRENE: Ah, oréo tragoudi. Now, katse kato, relax, I make nice kafedaki, okay? Now where’s my bessemer?
Sarah Aghazarmian is a playwright, performer and theatre maker with a keen interest in addressing contemporary social, cultural and technological changes to the world as well as capturing naturalistic elements of people through her writing. She is finishing a Bachelor of Creative Arts with the University of Wollongong, majoring in creative writing as a Dean’s Scholar. Sarah is currently one of Shopfront Theatre for Young People’s Civic Life artists in residence, engaging with the company’s major film project, Travel Songs of Sea and Land, as well as pursuing an independent artistic project within the company as a writer. In 2010 she attended ATYP’s Fresh Ink National Writers Studio and contributed to writing a series of short monologues for HSC drama students. In 2011 she joined Shopfront’s This is a Map of Me community cultural development project, touring to regional NSW to run creative workshops for young and indigenous people and has since taken on a variety of teaching and facilitating roles in Shopfront’s workshops and productions, including assistant director and associate artist for the youth Mardi Gras performance event of Late Night Shopping.
“If you would like to contact Sarah, you can send her a message at sarah.agha[at]live.com“