(Andrew Haydon's article appeared in the Guardian, 5/14.)
If you take a slight detour on the walk from Cardiff train station to the Sherman theatre, you can go and see the statue of Aneurin Bevan, founder of the National Health Service. It’s not much to look at, and Cardiff’s seagulls have been crapping all over it, but it’s nice that it’s there. The link between this fact and Gary Owen’s reworked version of the Iphigenia myth isn’t immediately obvious, but when it becomes clear in the final moments of the play, it is the most shattering, angry call for immediate revolt that you will see on stage this year.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t know the story of Iphigenia – the daughter of Greek general Agamemnon and his wife Clytemnestra – who is sacrificed simply in order to becalm the sea so that the Greek forces can set sail from Aulis to begin the siege of Troy. And if you do know the story, Owen’s deft, intelligent script keeps you guessing at the connection right until the end.