top of page

the mystery of irma vep - 2017

A deliciously retro ‘whodunnit’ poking fun at various genres, including the pennydreadful, melodrama, farce and silent movies. 


Billed as 'a quickchange act', 8 characters, male and female, are played by only 2 male actors. 


Cast - Jonathan Roxmouth and Weslee Swain Lauder
Written by - Charles Ludlam
Director - Elizma Badenhorst

Original Score - Wessel Odendaal
Wardrobe Design - Pierre du Plessis

Scenic Design - Nadine and Louis Minnaar

Lighting Design - Oliver Hauser

Wig Design - Noleen Fenske

Produced by - VR Theatrical

National Tour

Pieter Toerien's Montecasino Theatre - Johannesburg

Theatre on the Bay - Cape Town

05 - 30 July 2017
02 - 19 August 2017
Cape Town
The Mystery of Irma Vep
*Presented in 2017

Cast:  Jonathan Roxmouth and Weslee Swain Lauder
Written by:  Charles Ludlam

Director:  Elizma Badenhorst

Original Score:  Wessel Odendaal
Wardrobe Design:  Pierre du Plessis

Scenic Design:  Nadine and Louis Minnaar

Lighting Design:  Oliver Hauser

Wig Design:  Noleen Fenske

On a remote manor called Mandacrest, something is amiss. Between the horrors of a marauding beast terrorizing the estate and the looming presence of the recently deceased former mistress Irma Vep, matters become awkward in the extreme for the 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 turns thrown out like thumbtacks on the road and a stage packed full of outrageous sets and costumes, 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 are to be seen (in dresses, ahem) to be believed in what is often referred to as a quick change act!


The production was on the boards at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre from 5 – 30 July and at Theatre On The Bay from 2 – 19 August.  Bookings through Computicket.

Join our Facebook Page to stay up to date:


“As I watched The Mystery of Irma Vep, Ludlam's great spoof of Dracula, Wuthering Heights, The Wolfman, Gaslight, The Mummy, and many more, I find myself screaming often, not in terror but with laughter!” 



“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 willing to admit it.”


bottom of page