Set for full frontal lunacy

Michael Gritten (left) and Steven Stead in KickstArt’s 2007 Durban production of Charles Ludlum’s hilarious The Mystery of Irma Vep. A new production – starring Jonathan Roxmouth and Weslee Swain Lauder – opens in Johannesburg in July then heads for Cape Town.

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BY BILLY SUTER

ONE of the most memorable comedies from Durban’s award-winning KickstArt theatre company, Charles Ludlum’s The Mystery of Irma Vep – first presented in Durban in 2007, then revived in 2010 – is to be seen in Johannesburg  and Cape Town soon.

The all-new production, produced by VR Theatrical and directed by Elizma Badenhorst, will star Jonathan Roxmouth and Weslee Swain Lauder in roles filled in Durban by Steven Stead and Michael Gritten.

The first KickstArt production of this very amusing and pacy play took Durban Theatre Awards for best production, actor (an award shared by Stead and Gritten), direction (Greg King) and set design (Greg King).

Jonathan Roxmouth (left) and Weslee Swain Lauder in The Mystery of Irma Vep.

The new Johannesburg production has been described by Roxmouth, star of KickstArt’s Sweeney Todd and Jeeves and Wooster, as akin to a collision between Downton Abbey and The Twilight Saga.

“It harks back to more romantic days (before Scary Movie 1 through 28), and is a delightfully comedic take on the good, old-fashioned ‘penny dreadful’ genre of days gone by.”

The play, billed as offering “full frontal lunacy”, is an exercise in high spoof and dexterous acting. Only two actors play all of the show’s eight characters, including lunatics, beasts, ghouls and gentlefolk. in a hilarious, quick-change marathon..

The VR Theatrical production will run at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre from July 5 to 30 , then at Cape Town’s Theatre On The Bay from August 2 to 19. Booking is at Computicket.

The production will feature an original score by Wessel Odendaal, wardrobe by Pierre du Plessis, scenic design by Nadine Minnaar, wigs and make-up by Noleen Fenske and lighting design by Oliver Hauser.


2 thoughts on “Set for full frontal lunacy

  1. Oh my goodness….STEVEN STEAD in that photo – I would NOT have recognised him. SO looking forward to seeing Jonathan & Weslee in this Show in Cape Town (I think my friend has booked us for 12 August). thanks for the ‘share’, Billy. Love from Claudia in Cape Town

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