Tuesday 2 February 2016
Theatre review: Iphigenia in Splott
Although it's obvious how much effort Melville is putting into the character, it was a performance style I couldn't warm to, but things take a turn when Effie recounts her one-night stand with an amputee former soldier.
This is where Owen and Melville let us into the emotion and huge amount of vulnerability that lie under Effie's aggressive front, and at this point the performance really turns into something powerful - the story's next turn is obvious but it's very well-handled. She does end up making a sacrifice of sorts, but Owen's eventual point is that it's not just Effie but everyone in Splott and places like it who are his Iphigenia figure. The point is hammered home a bit too unsubtly in the closing moments but despite its unremittingly bleak outlook Iphigenia in Splott holds onto enough moments of defiant humour and underlying humanity to avoid turning into full-on misery porn.
Iphigenia in Splott by Gary Owen is booking until the 20th of February at the National Theatre's Keith.
Running time: 1 hour 30 minutes straight through.