Rona Munro’s Iron is a psychological drama set in a women’s prison, in which a mother and daughter try to break through the barriers of time, memory and punishment which separate them. It was first performed at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, on 26 July 2002.
The play starts with the first visit by 25-year-old Josie to her mother, Fay, who has served 15 years of a life sentence for killing Josie's father. Josie, a divorced and lonely career woman, wants to rediscover her past. Fay longs to live vicariously through her daughter without confronting the moment of her crime. The play explores their developing relationship and the contradictory nature of their needs, while also showing, through the characters of two prison guards, the way prison institutionalises people on both sides of its fences.
The Traverse Theatre premiere was directed by Roxana Silbert and designed by Anthony MacIlwaine. It was performed by Louise Ludgate, Sandy McDade, Ged McKenna and Helen Lomax.
The production transferred to the Royal Court Theatre, London, in January 2003.
Iron was awarded the 2003 John Whiting Award.