Scenes from The Puppet Oresteia (2011)

Scenes from The Puppet Oresteia
[Book design: William T. Ayton]

Scenes from The Puppet Oresteia. Text by Jack Ross / Artwork by William T. Ayton. ISBN 978-0-473-18881-8. Rhinebeck, NY: Narcissus Press / Auckland: Perdrix Press, 2011. 24 ink drawings. 44 pp.


I – Iphigenia, or Happy Families
Chorus 1 - Cursed with prophecy
Scene 1: The Palace at Mycenae
Chorus 2 - I ran through the wood
Chorus 3 - Little girl lost

II – Cassandra, or Payback is a Bitch
Chorus 4 - Joy lives with those
Scene 2: The Palace at Mycenae
Chorus 5 - Cursed with second sight
Chorus 6 - See how Apollo

III – Orestes, or Never say Never
Chorus 7 - The labour pains
Scene 3: The Seashore at Tauris
Chorus 8 - There she goes
Chorus 9 - Drops of holy water

Chorus 10 - Noise is like flame

back cover | Scenes from The Puppet Oresteia
[Back cover]


What would happen if two children decided to put on the Ancient Greek Oresteia in their own puppet theatre? With their (recently divorced) parents as characters? Casting themselves as Iphigeneia, sacrificed by her father for a favourable wind, and Orestes, the murderer of his mother? What kind of bloodbath might come out of that?

This modern retelling of the classic trilogy in words and pictures is a collaboration between New Zealand poet Jack Ross and US-based British artist William T. Ayton.

A Narcissus Press / Perdrix Press co-production


This is a translation project which builds on the framework of Papyri (2007), my selection of poems from Sappho. Here I re-imagined the two Iphigenia plays of Euripides alongside Aeschylus’s Agamemnon to create a new drama with contemporary overtones. The collaboration with Bill Ayton came about from a chance email exchange on my Papyri blog, but has led to an exploration of the burgeoning world of e-books and e-publishing.

Online Texts:




Perdrix Press

The Imaginary Museum

William T. Ayton Art Blog

William T. Ayton

A Strange Nest
[William T. Ayton: A Strange Nest]

[as a File Download ($US 2.99)
or Print-on-demand publication ($US 15.00)]

Narcissus Press

Perdrix Press
6A Hastings Rd
Mairangi Bay
Auckland 0630
New Zealand

RRP: $US 15 / $NZ 20

The Seashore at Tauris
[William T. Ayton: The Seashore at Tauris]

Reviews & Comments:

  1. William T. Ayton, "Scenes from The Puppet Oresteia." William T. Ayton Art Blog (2/5/11):

    In recent weeks, I've been working on a collaboration with New Zealand poet Jack Ross. The result is a chapbook entitled "Scenes from The Puppet Oresteia", based on the classic Greek trilogy of tragic plays by Aeschylus, updated into a more contemporary setting, that of a play performed by children in their puppet theater, whilst still paying homage to the original. The chapbook is 44 pages, with 24 ink drawings (21 of them brand new for this project) by myself. The book will be available soon, as a co-production between Perdrix Press (Ross) and Narcissus Press (the small press my wife Diana & I founded) ...

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