Iphigenia in Splott
Closed 1h 20m
Iphigenia in Splott
86

Iphigenia in Splott NYC Reviews and Tickets

86%
(98 Reviews)
Positive
98%
Mixed
2%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Intense, Edgy, Riveting

About the Show

Sherman Theatre presents a contemporary drama inspired by the Greek myth, which drives home the high price people pay for society's shortcomings. Part of 59E59's annual Brits Off Broadway festival.

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Member Reviews (98)

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95
Great acting, Riveting, Edgy, Masterful, Relevant

See it if Amazing solo performance. I was drawn into the character's intense experiences. How much of her suffering was fate vs. her own choice?

Don't see it if You are not interested in themes of class disadvantage and alcoholism in a caring but impulsive character.

85
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if you want to experience an amazing one person performance.

Don't see it if you're put off by difficult to understand accents, fast speech and deeply negative personalities.

Critic Reviews (27)

The New York Times
May 17th, 2017

"I first met Effie last year...I’d almost forgotten the disturbing, exciting pleasures of her company in this fast and furious production, directed to scorch by O’Riordan...'Splott' is a work with a confrontational social conscience, a state of mind that’s rarely conducive to subtlety. But though its conclusion has a didactic abruptness, Owen’s script otherwise operates on a seductively sensory level, in which we seem to absorb fully the nature of a woman and her world by osmosis."
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Theatermania
May 14th, 2017

"It exceeds our expectations with a surprisingly sensitive story by playwright Gary Owen and a winning performance from Sophie Melville...Effie's behavior becomes less shocking and more sympathetic as the play progresses. By the end, we even come to see her as noble in certain ways, an impressive feat for the kind of character most of us would cross the street to avoid...You may not walk away from 'Iphigenia in Splott' loving the protagonist, but it is hard not to respect her."
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BroadwayWorld
May 16th, 2017

“This superbly crafted one-woman show features excellent staging and an awe-inspiring performance…A deeply affecting view of humanity with all of its promise and pain…Sophie Melville is stunning as Effie. She captures the drama, passion and occasional humor of her challenging role. Effie is a dynamic character, one that is at first seems nasty and contentious, but later evokes sympathy...Melville masters all of these dimensions…A gripping, must-see play for metro area audiences.”
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Lighting & Sound America
May 15th, 2017

"The playwright's attempt at making her into a transformational figure of suffering doesn't really fly...Without an actress of Melville's powers, Effie might be insufferable. There's no worry of that here; Melville, a petite blonde with a massive presence, holds our attention as if through sheer force of will...Even if 'Iphigenia in Splott' is more a collection of vivid passages than a fully realized play, Owen is clearly a gifted writer, and Melville shows definite signs of incipient stardom."
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Talkin' Broadway
May 14th, 2017

"Gary Owen's sizzling monologue of a play...And what a tale it is, encompassing both tough-gal rants and an unexpectedly painful and tender account of raw vulnerability...Thanks to the playwright's perfect ear for the language of his protagonist, Sophie Melville's thrilling performance, and Rachel O'Riordan's direction, our hearts go out to Effie and stay with her through the highs and lows of the entire rest of the 80-minute play."
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TheaterScene.net
May 14th, 2017

"Sophie Melville’s electrifying performance as a disaffected young woman surviving in a depressed Welsh town is the muscle of playwright Gary Owen’s intensely bleak solo play...Melville powerfully enlivens this tough 80 minutes. She is simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking, and heroically surmounts the challenging material...The writing is poetically descriptive and moderately engrossing...Director Rachel O’Riordan’s dynamic staging injects compelling visual flourishes."
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Theatre is Easy
May 16th, 2017

“Gary Owen’s ingeniously contemporary adaptation...The language of the play is deliciously raucous and the story flows through your veins like jolts of electricity…Melville’s portrayal of Effie is perfection…A lean production without a single unnecessary stroke…The play also taps into important social issues…Offers one of the most satisfying theatrical experiences around, with top-notch writing and an electrifying solo performer, and does so in a way that almost seems effortless.”
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Theater Pizzazz
May 14th, 2017

"Tour de force...Sophie Melville captivates in an eviscerating, powerful performance...Owen’s script turns on a dime and Melville runs this marathon, pacing the space like a panther, owning the audience from moment one. The acting and production are theater at its most forceful and engaging. Intelligent, moving, highly relevant at sparking conversation on the wide-range of issues Effie raises...An incisive, powerful production."
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Front Row Center
May 16th, 2017

“Sophie Melville is young, so it’s hard to say that she will never top this, but I don’t know how she could…She was by turns hysterically funny, horrifying and heartbreaking. I don’t remember breathing or moving from the time she opened her mouth to the time the play was over. Rachel O’Riordan set a driving pace…The writing too, was superb, crisp and crackling, and never going down the obvious paths…A stirring cry for revolution.”
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Front Mezz Junkies
May 14th, 2017

"It’s almost impossible to look away. As directed skillfully by Rachel O’Riordan, Melville doesn’t really give us any chance to catch our breath and re-center ourselves from the moment she starts in at us. With a heavy Welsh accent and an aggressive, angry demeanor, Melville leads us through the troubled, messed-up life of this young woman...It’s a dangerous and edgy performance that feels completely raw and powerful. And epic in a way."
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Theatre's Leiter Side
May 14th, 2017

"Owen's writing is potent, vivid, profane, and illuminated by verbal and physical variations that allow Melville to range from nasty to angry to aggressive to vulnerable to sweet to pathetic to cocky in a split second. The agile, quicksilver actress brings an emotional arsenal to Effie that fills every nook and cranny not only with fiercely human feeling but with piercing shafts of humor."
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B
May 23rd, 2017

“The main reason to see it is the electric performance by Sophie Melville as Effie…I was disappointed that the play morphed from a fascinating character study to a screed against social welfare cuts, even though, as a cautionary tale, it is certainly timely on this side of the pond as well. My other reservation is the difficulty I had making out some of the words because of the thick Welsh accent and rapid speech.”
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W
May 14th, 2017

"Because the play is compressed into 80 jam-packed minutes (and this actress is electric), every minute takes on urgency. We have neither time nor space to ask why or whether. Tension is maintained, yet never static...The piece contains neither false word nor move...Sophie Melville is hypnotic...Director Rachel O’Riordan displays Effie’s volatility with as much variation as bite. What gets under the heroine’s skin, gets under ours."
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BlogCritics.org
May 15th, 2017

"A typhoon of a performance by Sophie Melville drives toward—and justifies—a final wrenching twist. Directed with just-shy-of-frantic energy by Rachel O’Riordan, Melville’s Effie is a raw slice of humanity...Effie is that rare and wonderful combination, a being of both grippingly real emotion and stylized characterization—a creature that can exist only in the theater...Go see this fiery production."
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R
May 14th, 2017

"Sophie Melville is amazing as Effie in 'Iphigenia in Splott.' Her rage is transfixing and often humorous, albeit exhausting, as she berates anything or anyone that wanders into her attention. Effie tells the story of when her life changed, and she realized that more was possible in life. Her story revolves around a man she met at a bar that might or might be her soulmate and what happens to her after that meeting. It isn't a harrowing tale, but it is a rare and heartbreaking story."
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A Seat on the Aisle
May 15th, 2017

"An extraordinary one-woman show...As a theatrical performance, Melville leaves nothing to be desired...A performance that truly deserves five stars...But as to the play itself, and the message it seeks to convey, that is an entirely different matter...Owen is championing a world in which a sense of entitlement justifies individual irresponsibility...If you still believe in individuals taking responsibility for their own lives, you’re still likely to appreciate Melville’s terrific performance."
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B
May 18th, 2017

"Every moment in this beautifully etched monologue is filled with pain. We ache as Sophie Melville’s voice screams words, wraps her soul around them and sometimes gives a tender caress...Owen’s powerful update of Euripides' story...Melville mesmerizes. Her raging rancor settles as the play progresses...Directed brilliantly by Rachel O’Riordan...An incredible evening of theater."
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Time Out London
February 1st, 2016
For a previous production

"While ‘Iphigenia in Splott’ will certainly jerk a few tears, the abiding emotion here is righteous anger...Much of the brilliance of Rachel O’Riordan’s kinetic production is that, for all its ferocity, it introduces its polemic with great subtlety...Recent years have proven oddly infertile for political theatre, but ‘Iphigenia in Splott’ is the sort of clear-eyed rallying cry that deserves to force a change."
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The Guardian (UK)
January 31st, 2016
For a previous production

"One of the pleasures of Owen’s play is not just in the way it subtly changes our perception of Effie and gradually builds to an explosive finish, but in its narrative drive. Owen tells a really good story and one involving cliffhangers which are brilliantly handled in O’Riordan’s tightly controlled production...The ending is a little rushed...but this is 75 minutes in which Effie finds a voice to remind us that resilience is a sticking plaster and what is required is revolution."
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The London Evening Standard
February 1st, 2016
For a previous production

"This 70-minute piece, arrives in London garlanded with plaudits. It’s easy to see why. Rachel O’Riordan’s sharply focused production has a pacy directness, and Sophie Melville is sensational as Effie. Her performance is caustic, but also flecked with seductive and vulnerable moments — teasing, touching, profound. She savours the intelligence and political anger of Owen’s writing, which is painfully vivid and sometimes devastatingly funny."
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Financial Times (UK)
March 30th, 2017
For a previous production

"I have found myself relishing the sensation of being caught by a dramatic sucker punch. A piece of work seems, predictably and uninterestingly, to be heading in one direction but then swerves into altogether more fascinating territory...So sharply written, keenly performed and astutely directed, but still no more than just another gritty urban monologue...Suddenly the play reveals its purpose."
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The Stage (UK)
January 30th, 2016
For a previous production

"Gary Owen’s blisteringly good play...The writing is stingingly funny and sharp as jagged glass...Owen picks deftly through the wreckage of Effie’s world, like a compassionate, clear-sighted preserver. Sherman Cymru’s artistic director Rachel O’Riordan captures the play’s many tonal changes in her production, which is fluid and textured. It’s a masterclass on how to keep an audience focused in the right way...It’s a breathtaking, bruisingly good performance."
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The Guardian (UK)
February 14th, 2016
For a previous production

"A tremendous piece of storytelling...This is a one-woman marathon and a phenomenal performance by Sophie Melville, incisively directed by Rachel O’Riordan. And it ends with a call to revolution. My only criticism is that the final state-of-the-nation rounding off sounds more a polemic from Gary Owen than from F-off Effie. From her mouth, it does not quite ring true."
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London Theatre
February 1st, 2016
For a previous production

"Owen has a tight grip on the pathos and is cunningly effective at tugging on your heartstrings at the precise moment...Melville's solo performance is nothing short of extraordinary...She manages to avoid the land mines of parody and pastiche that clutter the text, effectively humanizing the character and drawing you in...The subtlety of the polemic is what makes this one of the most powerful and stirring political plays of recent times...It's a powerful message that's been well earned."
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The Telegraph (UK)
January 31st, 2016
For a previous production

"This modern-day anti-heroine makes a sacrifice so unexpected, so touchingly altruistic, that it shakes you violently and then pummels your heart...Sophie Melville is remarkable as Effie...Through Owen’s multi-layered text we see someone aggressive and tender, courageous and frightened, funny and sad. Melville captures the character in all her many shades, knowing exactly when to hold back and when to exert emotional welly...An important play."
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The Guardian (UK)
May 14th, 2015
For a previous production

"The most shattering, angry call for immediate revolt that you will see on stage this year...Melville’s performance is a perfect whirlwind of aggression, seduction, violence and pity, and Rachel O’Riordan’s superlative production never once lets it drop the pace...By any measure going, this is perfect theatre: intelligent, moving, and horribly, horribly relevant. Most of all, though, in those final moments, it feels like the start of a revolution."
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Culture Whisper
February 1st, 2016
For a previous production

"Gary Owen's writing, so intricately intelligent, reels you in then blindsides first with human tragedy, then its political repercussions. You can't help but be devastated as each plot development lurches further from initial expectations. 'Breathtaking' is an overused adage, but during the heartbreaking climax, we didn't actually breathe. Standing ovations are rare, especially on press night, but Sophie Melville had every tear-stained person in the Temporary Theatre on their feet."
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