A GREEK tragedy reimagined in modern-day Cardiff has won one of the UK’s most distinguished literary awards, the James Tait Black Prize for Drama. Gary Owen’s one-woman monologue, Iphigenia in Splott, is the fourth play to win the £10,000 prize.

The award is given annually by the University of Edinburgh, Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland and the Traverse Theatre and was announced by playwright and director David Greig at an award ceremony at the theatre.

The winning drama was first produced by Sherman Theatre in May 2015, directed by former Perth Theatre artistic director Rachel O'Riordan.

Playwright Gary Owen drew his inspiration from a Greek myth, in which King Agamemnon sacrifices his daughter, Iphigenia, to allow his ships to sail to Troy.

Owen’s drama topped a shortlist that included two other plays,People, Places and Things by Duncan Macmillan and Hang by Debbie Tucker Green.

The prize was launched in 2012 when Britain’s oldest book awards, the James Tait Black Prizes, were extended to include a new category for drama.

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 first major exhibition of the work of Scottish artist Michael McVeigh is to be staged at the Scottish Gallery from September 7 to October 1.

Michael McVeigh was born in 1957 in Lochee, Dundee and left school with no formal qualifications and began classes at Duncan of Jordanstone Art College.

Since moving to Edinburgh in 1982 McVeigh had, until recently, a stall on Rose Street selling his "lizard" prints. "Lizard" is his spelling of "laser" – colour copies of his original works, for sale at an affordable price.

Christina Jansen of The Scottish Gallery says: “McVeigh is a modern day folk artist who depicts the world around him, a participant observer who has created a naive/sophisticated setting for contemporary life and history."


THE Summerhall venue's owner and director Robert McDowell has paid tribute to the artists and shows who have led to the venue having record ticket sales and multiple award wins. Attendances at the venue are up 30 per cent on 2015, with more tickets bought in the first two weeks than in the whole of last year's Festival. Many shows have already sold out all tickets for the rest of their run.

McDowell said: “Despite some atrocious weather and the television draw of the Olympics, by the end of week two Summerhall's festival attendances exceeded the total for 2015.

Our programme is enjoying unprecedented critical acclaim with an average star rating by critics of over 3.8, plus a slew of other prizes and award nominations. There have been sell-out shows every day including in some of our biggest venues.”

This year Summerhall hosts 147 shows, with 1771 performances involving an estimated 276 performers.

Earlier week when Mr McDowell raised the Ukrainian flag, in tribute to Counting Sheep, the immersive show that turns Edinburgh’s King’s Hall into Maidan Nezalezhnosti, Kiev’s central square during the country's 2014 revolution.