Sophie Melville stars in the World Premiere of Gary Owen's Iphigenia in Splott

08 Apr 2015

Sherman Cymru are delighted to announce that following her striking performance as Juliet in Sherman Cymru's Romeo & Juliet, Sophie Melville will be playing the lead role in Gary Owen’s powerful new one-woman play, Iphigenia in Splott at the Sherman Theatre from 8-16 May.

The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama graduate Sophie Melville, star of Sherman Cymru's Romeo & Juliet, returns to the Sherman Theatre in this commanding one-woman show, a searing indictment of life under the weight of austerity. Effie, goes through her days in a careless spiral of drink, drugs and drama.

(Sophie Melville performing alongside Sean O'Callaghan in Sherman Cymru's Romeo & Juliet)

Sherman Cymru's Artistic Director, Rachel O'Riordan said; "I am really excited to be working with Sophie again, who is a talented emerging young actress. Audiences were captivated by her performance in Romeo & Juliet and we can’t wait to see her bring Gary Owen's tough strong-willed Effie to the stage."

Award-winning Welsh playwright Gary Owen transports the Greek myth to the Cardiff suburb of Splott, and focuses his adaptation on the impact that the welfare cuts are having on today’s society. Fusing coarse poetry with the language intrinsic to Splott, Gary Owen's play brings to the surface the timeless issues that makes Iphigenia’s tale so enduring.

Director of Iphigenia in Splott, Rachel O’Riordan said: "I am proud to say that at the centre of our season is Gary Owen's Iphigenia in Splott and that we will be producing and presenting this World Premiere in Wales.

This is a powerful play that explores what it is to be a young woman on the outskirts of society. Although the play is set in a suburb of Cardiff, we see young women like Effie every day across the UK. Iphigenia in Splott explores the current state of our society, communities, and the National Health Service. Particularly pertinent themes, in this, the year of a general election.”

Iphigenia in Splott is the second drama Artistic Director Rachel O'Riordan will be directing this year as part of Sherman Cymru's vibrant and exciting season of new writing, the other being Leviathan by Matthew Trevannion, the debut drama under the A Play, A Pie and A Pint banner to be produced and performed in Wales.

Iphigenia in Splott opens at Sherman Theatre, Cardiff on 8 May, the day after the General Election when the country may be waking up to a very different political landscape. Iphigenia in Splott sparks discussion about the current state of society; the duty of care extended to all of its citizens and the current regard held for the NHS.

Gary Owen is recognised as one of Wales' most successful contemporary playwrights, with his plays performed across the UK and internationally, including Crazy Gary's Mobile Disco. Gary Owen has produced memorable dramas such as Sherman Cymru's Amgen : Broken, Sherman Cymru and National Theatre Wales' Love Steals Us from Loneliness; Sgript Cymru's Ghost City and Paines Plough's The Drowned World. In 2010 Gary was nominated for the TMA Awards Best New Play for Mrs Reynolds and the Ruffian produced by Watford Palace Theatre.

Sherman Cymru's Iphigenia in Splott is at the Sherman Theatre on 8 – 16 May at 7.30pm (Previews: 8 – 11 May). Tickets are £15 (Previews: £13) Concessions: £2 off, Under 25s: Half price.

Contains strong language and scenes of an adult nature.

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