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Winner of the James Tait Black drama award announced


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In 2012 Britains oldest book awards, the James Tait Black Prizes, added in a much needed drama cateogory. This year, Gary Owen's one-woman monologue, Iphigenia in Splott, has taken the £10,000 prize.

The monologue is a reworking of a Greek tragedy in which King Agamemnon sacrifices his daughter, Iphigenia, to allow his ships to sail to Troy.

Owen's version is set in modern day Cardiff. It centres on a young woman called Effie as she tells the story of her meeting with an ex-soldier and how this lead to her unraveling. Its themes include austerity, linking to todays under-resourced NHS.

The panel of judges consists of students and academics from the University of Edinburgh, people from the Traverse Theatre, Playwrights’ Studio Scotland and Schaubuhne Theatre in Berlin.

The prize is usually given to those with an original flair for playwriting. Previous winners of the James Tait Black Prize for Drama include Gordon Dahlquist’s sci-fi thriller Tomorrow Come Today (2015), Rory Mullarkey’s first full-length play, Cannibals (2014), and acclaimed drama The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning (2013) by Tim Price.

The play beat one of this years crowd favourites, People, Places and Things by Duncan Macmillan.

It was first produced in 2015 in May 2015 and received excellent reviews. It's currently running at The National Theatre until February 20th 2017.

Prof Greg Walker (chairman of judges) said the character was "wonderfully written", and the play would make audiences "laugh, cry and stand up to revolt".

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