Griz­zly ghouls from ev­ery tomb come out to play at Monte

CityPress - - News -

It was a night out for vam­pires, mum­mies and were­wolves – and a glit­ter­ing ar­ray of South Africa’s stage and TV stars – at the open­ing night of The Mys­tery of Irma Vep, show­ing at the Pi­eter To­e­rien The­atre at Mon­te­casino in Four­ways.

The au­di­ence, keen to get into the spirit of the evening, ar­rived at the the­atre all decked out in their best in­ter­pre­ta­tions of Gothic Vic­to­rian chic.

The play, writ­ten by Charles Lud­lam, is a crazy farce that crams ev­ery crea­ture and cliché from the age of the penny dread­ful and the B-grade hor­ror­movie genre into two hours, with a cast of only two: ac­tors Jonathan Rox­mouth and Weslee Swain Lauder.

Among the early ar­rivals were ac­tress, writer, di­rec­tor and pro­ducer Lizz Meir­ing and the pro­duc­tion’s seam­stress, Madelaine Lot­ter. Meir­ing said the cast and crew call Lot­ter “kom help Madelaine” as she is a last-minute fixer – just that morn­ing she’d sewn an en­tire dress for the pro­duc­tion. That’s quite a feat, given the in­tri­ca­cies of ruf­fles and hooped skirts that Rox­mouth and Lauder gal­lop about in as they dash in and out of char­ac­ters and out­fits.

Other well-known faces at­tend­ing open­ing night were ac­tors Theo Landey, Craig Ur­bani and Ter­ence Brid­gett, who stole the dress-up show by turn­ing up as a par­tic­u­larly dash­ing ver­sion of Dracula. The­atre leg­ends Des and Dawn Lind­berg were there, as was Dirk Baden­horst, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the SA In­ter­na­tional Bal­let Com­pe­ti­tion and the newly formed group Cuban Dance SA AKA CuDanSA. Also on the guest list was Rox­mouth’s co-star from West Side Story, Lynelle Kenned. Cito, best known as the front­man of rock band Won­der­boom, was there too. He is the co-founder of en­ter­tain­ment ser­vices provider The Co-Lab Net­work and is no stranger to the­atre per­for­mances, having fa­mously sung the part of Je­sus in Paul War­wick Grif­fin’s bon­sai ver­sion of Je­sus Christ Su­per­star.

Cor­lene Fursten­berg, the wardrobe mistress from e.tv’s soapie Scan­dal!, was the most stylish woman in the room – prob­a­bly an oc­cu­pa­tional hazard for her – from her chignon to her an­kle boots with del­i­cate de­tail of golden flow­ers.

The two ac­tors kept their au­di­ence in gales of laugh­ter as they whipped around the stage, and when they fi­nally ripped off their wigs to take their fi­nal bows, they were given a stand­ing ova­tion for their ath­leti­cism and the sheer lu­nacy of it all.

The Mys­tery of Irma Vep is on at Mon­te­casino un­til July 30. It then moves to Cape Town’s The­atre on the Bay from Au­gust 3 to 19.

– Gayle Ed­munds

PHO­TOS: GAYLE ED­MUNDS

DECKED OUT Cor­lene Fursten­berg and ac­tor Ter­ence Brid­gett

HATS UP Di­rec­tor El­izma Baden­horst and pro­ducer Jaco van Rens­burg cel­e­brate open­ing night

TAL­ENTED TRIO Mu­si­cal the­atre stars Alyssa Har­ri­son, Michael Fullard and Dar­ius En­gel­brecht

ALL SMILES Reg Hart, from West Side Story, and Dionne Song, from M-Net sit­com The Co­conuts

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