In the Beginning

In the Beginning
by Hannah Silva

In the Fifties, the Reverend Callaway, pipe smoker and Baptist preacher, discovered the original Garden of Eden in Bristol, Florida. He found the rare gopher tree used by Noah to build the ark, and that the Apalachicola River was the four-headed river described in Genesis. Inspired by the Reverend, In the Beginning is a re-writing of Genesis to the sounds of Bristol, Florida.

Click here for In The Beginning. (Headphones recommended)

In the beginning

and the earth was without God
and the earth was without Form
and the earth was without Light
and the earth was without Face

and the void the darkness the face the face

The face of the waters 
in the midst of the waters
and let it divide the waters 
from the waters

Under the firmament
Above the firmament
and it was so

and God called the light ‘day’
and God called the form ‘deep’
and God called the void ‘face’
and there was light/light the first day 

And God saw Good And God said: 

“Divide the waters from the waters 
and the morning and the evening and the day”

“Divide the waters from the waters 
and let the waters gather in one place”

It was so –

Dry /Land /Good /Fruit /Kind /Seed /Grass /Herb /So/Earth
…gathering gathering

And the morning 
And the evening 
And the day

Let the seasons be seasons let the signs be seasons 
Let the seasons be signs for days and years and it was so

And god made light to rule the day 
and lesser light to rule the night 
and stars also

And rule over the day
And rule over the night
And divide the light 
From the dark
and God it was good 

and the evening and the morning and the day

And God said: “waters moving creatures life and foul fly and earth open”

(and the creature winged good and move)

“Be fruitful fly and multiply and fill the waters and the sky”

and the earth
and the evening 
and the morning 
and the fifth day

In The Beginning Text: Performance Version (download)

Hannah Silva is a writer and theatre maker whose work often starts from a playful interrogation of language, voice and form. She has performed at the Tokyo Design Centre, Krikri International Festival of Polyphony, Poetry Hearings (Berlin), and throughout the UK including at Latitude, the Edinburgh Fringe and Stanza. Hannah has written for Radio 3 and regularly appears on The Verb. Her play The Disappearance of Sadie Jones is touring nationally in Autumn 2013.

“She uses techniques like cut-up and collage, sound poetry and physical theatre to create something that’s unique but nods to older forms like shamanism, pre-religious ceremonies, Dadaism, and the kind of games that children play with language.” The Verb, Radio 3

Commissioned by Theatre Bristol for 34 Bristols