Iphigenia in Splott

Gary Owen
Sherman Cymru
Pleasance Dome

Sophie Melville

It is quite something that, having seen over 100 shows during 2½ weeks in Edinburgh, the outstanding performance should come in the very last.

Sophie Melville is quite mesmerizing as Effie, the wild girl from Cardiff who is a goddess on her own terms, even if the world would see her as a foul-mouthed, bleach-blonde slag rather than a deity.

Effie’s aggressive behaviour is typical of that type. She gets through life by jumping from one hangover to the next, assisted by her equally fun-loving flat-mate Leanne.

The poor sap who loves her, Kev, thinks nothing of it when she disappears from a club with Lee, a former squaddie who lost his leg to a roadside mine.

Where Effie sees a soul mate and a chance to change her life, the married soldier is looking for nothing more than a one-night stand.

The pain of rejection is beautifully conveyed under the direction of Rachel O’Riordan but is as nothing when compared to the deferred consequences of the briefly heavenly liaison.

These come in the form of morning sickness and so much that it heralds.

By the end of a gripping 70 minutes, it is hard to hold back tears, which should naturally flow on witnessing a bad girl come of age in a superbly paced and structured monologue given magnificent heart and soul by Sophie Melville.

Reviewer: Philip Fisher

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