VR Theatrical Announces Sidesplitting THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP for Pieter Toerien's Montecasino Theatre and Theatre On The Bay this Winter
DOWNTON ABBEY and the TWILIGHT saga collide in Charles Ludlam's spoof, THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP, which will be presented in South Africa by VR Theatrical by special arrangement with Samuel French. The production will be the fledgeling company's first play, following co-productions of the five-time Naledi Award-nominated I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE and the double Fleur Du Cap Theatre Award-winning hit, HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH.
On a remote manor called Mandacrest, something is amiss. Between the horrors of a marauding beast terrorising the estate and the looming presence of the recently deceased former mistress Irma Vep, matters become awkward in the extreme for Lord Edgar and his new wife, Lady Enid.
In this side-splitting comedy, all the residents of the Mandacrest estate travel from the moors of England to the tombs of Egypt and back again, encountering along their way a host of vampires, werewolves, mummies and all manner of things that go bump in the night. With Gothic plot twists thrown out like thumbtacks on the road and a stage packed full of outrageous sets and costumes, THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP is a visual feast that will have you in stitches right up until the final twist.
Even more bizarre than the cast of characters in this deliciously retro whodunnit is the fact that all of these lunatics, beasts, ghouls and gentlefolk are played by only two actors: the lightning-witted Jonathan Roxmouth and the inimitable Weslee Swain Lauder.
Commenting on the kind of madcap approach he adopted in creating THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP, Ludlam wrote in "Confessions of a Farceur":
I sometimes think that the Ridiculous is the only serious theatre. After all, everywhere you look in this world there's something that's ridiculous. It's important to help people see that. I often think all theatre is ridiculous, but we're not always willing to admit it.
Directed by Elizma Badenhorst, THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP will feature an original score by Wessel Odendaal. Heading up the design teams will be Pierre du Plessis (wardrobe), Nadine and Louis Minnaar (scenery) and Oliver Hauser (lighting) respectively.
THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP will be on the boards at Pieter Toerien's Montecasino Theatre in Johannesburg from 5 - 30 July and at Theatre On The Bay in Cape Town from 3 - 19 August. Bookings are through Computicket. Keep up with all things IRMA VEP on the official Facebook page for the production.