Monday, May 15, 2006

Comic Gothic horror melodrama

I saw a performance of The Mystery of Irma Vep by Charles Ludlam on Saturday at the Emery Theatre. This was a fast-paced tale of mystery and the supernatural with a cast of werewolves, vampires and aristocrats. There were eight characters, all played by only two actors (though it took me some time to realise this!). The play obviously spoofed several genres, and was very entertaining, although I felt that the ending was a bit flat, in comparison to the antics that had gone on before.

The staging was ingenious, and much of the laughter came from the incongrousness and complete artificiality of the two dimensional props as well as the words themselves. The costume changes were extremely fast, particularly in the last act, where the characters were flying on- and off-stage in quick succession.

The Emery Theatre is a small venue, in east London (Poplar). I've been there twice now - the first time to see Educating Rita, a few months ago. Both plays have been small scale, with two actors and minimal sets, with the company carefully playing to the strengths of the small space and minimising the drawbacks. Anyway, it was a nice way to spend Saturday evening.



At Thu May 18, 05:02:00 pm, Blogger Who is this Dave? said...

I wrote a comment here yesterday, about the Reduced Shakespeare Company. It's vanished (the comment, not the Company).

At Thu May 18, 05:37:00 pm, Blogger Tamburlaine said...

Hmm... spooky.


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