‘We can take it cos we’re tough, the lot of us’

‘But what’s going to happen when we can’t take it anymore?’

Even if the title doesn’t ring a bell, you have no knowledge of Greek mythology and you’ve never been to Cardiff before; this production is hugely relevant, honest and touching at it’s core. Gary Owen’s Iphigenia in Splott opened at the Sherman last week, aptly programmed to coincide with the results of the General Election.

Effie is the sort of girl you would avoid a run-in with if you could: abusive on the streets to fat women with fat children and riding the bus of unemployment in a midst of three day hangovers and cocktail pitchers (which are basically £15 worth of ice). Her life changes one night as she falls for a wounded soldier in The Great Western, ditches her friends and her no-hope boyfriend, and we follow her journey of love, anger and tragedy as the chapters of her life play out through her monologue. The sold out studio audibly gasps, laughs and sniffs away tears as Effie ignites the bleak and perfectly minimal set, and reminds us of the consequences hiding beneath the cuts and the politics of today’s Britain.

Sophie Melville is perfectly cast, making the audience fall in love with the volatile Effie and her story: the whole studio completely behind her from the first drop of her guard. She strides with confidence, and crumbles in despair as life spins it’s web under O’Riordan’s purposeful direction and an incredible, raw and on point script from Gary Owen.

One not to miss out on, and you’ll probably be hard pushed to get a ticket by this point but it’s most definitely worth begging your better half for a tenner if you have to.  An incredible, heart wrenching, kick in the gut back to the reality of austerity brought to life in a beautiful, yet bitter performance from the team at the Sherman.

Iphigenia in Splott plays at the Sherman until 21st May, before featuring in the British Council Showcase at the Pleasance King Dome, Edinburgh, from 24-30 August.

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