The Mystery of Irma Vep
By Charles Ludlam
Directed by Ian Grieve
A co-production with Horsecross Arts
Presented by arrangement with Samuel French Limited
It's a terrible thing to marry an Egyptologist and find he's hung up on his mummy...
Subtitled 'A Penny Dreadful' and taking its lead from tales of gothic romance, The Mystery of Irma Vep is a fast-paced and wickedly funny parody of the genre, mixing in references to a whole host of novels and films, from Rebecca and The Hound of the Baskervilles to The Mummy, Frankenstein and Dracula. If Daphne du Maurier had written a post-modern episode of Midsomer Murders starring the Marx Brothers, this might very well be the blood-curdling result!
Eminent Egyptologist Lord Edgar Hillcrest has happily re-married after the violent death of his first wife, Irma. But her memory still lingers in the house, as does the mystery of the demise of their son Victor at the hands of a suspected werewolf (also named Victor). And what hope does the new Lady Hillcrest have of shaking off the curse of Mandacrest when her husband returns from his latest trip to Cairo with an ancient mummy in tow?
This deliciously irreverent romp employs just two actors (Andy Gray and Steven McNicoll) to play the upstairs and downstairs residents of Mandacrest, as well as a ghoulish supporting cast of vampires, werewolves and Egyptian goddesses. No cliché is left un-mocked, from portraits with moving eyes to secret passages behind the bookcase - ready yourself for a night of ribald punnery, glorious over-acting and unbridled silliness, the perfect antidote to the midwinter blues.
This show will transfer to Perth Theatre (19 March to 4 April) after its run here at the Lyceum.
Cast and Credits
The cast of The Mystery of Irma Vep
The creative team of The Mystery of Irma Vep
Director - Ian Grieve
Designer - Becky Minto
Lighting Designer - Kai Fisher
Sound Designer/Composer - Alan Penman
Watch our trailer for The Mystery of Irma Vep
Dates and Times
This production has now ended
"Completely bonkers...Andy Gray and Steven McNicoll make a terrific team."
"With Becky Minto's set leaving no Gothic cliche unmined and Kai Fischer's lights drenching the set in everything from moonlight to gore, this is an entertaining piece of nonsense from which Grieve, Gray and McNicoll extract a good deal of laughter."
The Times ★★★★