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Iphigenia in Splott – Evening Reads

Stumbling down the street drunk at 11.30am, Effie’s the kind of the girl you’d studiously avoid making eye contact with. But in Welsh playwright Gary Owen’s Iphigenia in Splott, this month’s featured work for Brown’s Mart’s play reading series, audiences come to see that people like Effie are the ones that pay the price for society’s failings.

Directed by star of the Darwin theatre scene, Ciella Williams, the one-woman play reworks the ancient Greek myth of Iphigenia to explore who is sacrificed in contemporary society. The reading features performer, theatre-maker and community artist Alyson Evans in the part of Effie, who has Welsh heritage herself.

“It’s about someone living in an area of Wales where they’re bottom of the rank when it comes to class, and therefore the ones who are always trodden on,” Evans explains.

“Growing up in the Welsh mining valleys, which is a very working class place to grow up as well, I definitely recognise a lot of the scenes in the play and the things that the character’s battling.”

Despite some similarities in their backgrounds, Evans admits Effie is very different to her.

“She’s very hard – you know, she abuses people on the street – so for me, even for a reading, it’s about looking at my voice and my physicality, to change that to bring that hardness to me.”

And while the play is set on the other side of the world, Evans believes that it still resonates with local audiences.

“We definitely see the same problem here of people living in low social economic areas, the struggle they have to access good health care and things like that. I think [the play’s] a really good way to reflect on our community in Australia.”

Perhaps after hearing Effie’s emotional story, you might withhold judgement next time you see someone on the street. As Evans puts it, “we all have a story.”

Evening Reads
THU OCT 14 | 7.30PM
COST $15

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