Sherman Cymru Artistic Director Rachel O’Riordan discusses directing Gary Owen’s Iphigenia in Splott
ASIW: What came first? Commissioning the play from Gary or choosing the play to produce at Sherman? In either case can you say why?
R.O.: I have always wanted to direct something of Gary’s. This play felt very relevant, and very right for us and the vision of the Sherman.
ASIW: How much is this a Cardiff play or is Splott interchangeable with other inner city/less affluent urban areas?
R.O.: It’s a Cardiff play in that Cardiff is all Effie knows; she is defined by her environment. However, her environment and its challenges will be recognisable to many. The vernacular of the play is Splott – the vocal energy of it.
ASIW: Why did you chose Sophie for the role?
R.O.:Because she has edge, and nerve, and clarity of intention as an actor. She works on her craft, and works with the director.
ASIW: Sherman does a lot of work with younger people – will this play appeal to younger audience members or will it have more empathy with a mature audience?
R.O.: Hmm. Both, I think. We are in preview and have had really mixed audiences so far. Responses will differ widely, I think, due to the audience members own experiences which are of course affected by age.
ASIW: Do you feel the play will have a greater resonance in the wake of an election decision that reinforces austerity and cuts?
R.O.:Yes, without question. It’s very much of the moment as a piece.
ASIW: Are there plans to take the play to other communities and if so will it need to adapt to different local audiences?
R.O.:We are taking this play on…watch this space
ASIW: Has the play turned out how you anticipated when you starter out or did it develop and change?
R.O.:It always changes and develops in rehearsal, it would be awful if it didn’t but the essence, the energy of it. Yes, that’s how I imagined it.
Iphigenia In Splott : Sherman Cymru
8 – 16 May, 7.30pm
18 – 21 May, 8pm
Matinee: 16 May, 2.30pm
Previews: 8 – 11 May, 7.30pm