The Mystery of Irma Vep

A Penny Dreadful by Charles Ludlam

October 6- 22, 2023

Wednesday, October 4 Pay-What-You-Will Preview
Thursday, October 5: Final Preview
Friday, October 6: Opening Night

Wednesday – Saturday evenings at 7:30pm
Sunday matinees at 2:00pm

A quick-change, gender-bending comedy!

Lord Edgar, an Egyptologist, is newly married to Lady Enid, and comfortably residing in Mandacrest Estate. However, Lord Edgar has yet to recover entirely from the passing of his first wife, the eerie Irma Vep. 

Two nimble actresses quickly change back and forth between roles of both sexes in a world filled with vampires, ghosts, mummies and werewolves. Charles Ludlam’s groundbreaking satire pokes wicked fun at several genres, including Victorian melodrama, Wuthering Heights and Hitchcock’s film Rebecca.


About The Playwright

Charles Ludlam

Charles Ludlam (1943-1987) grew up in Queens, New York, just a few subway stops from Greenwich Village, and the heart of Gay America. At twenty-four, he founded the Ridiculous Theatrical Company, where he wrote, directed and performed in almost every production for the next two decades, often with Everett Quinton, his life partner and muse, by his side. Renowned for drag, high comedy, melodrama, satire, precise literary references, gender politics, sexual frolic, and a multitude of acting styles, the Ridiculous Theater guaranteed a kind of biting humor that could both sting and tickle. His many plays included Turds in Hell, Der Ring Gott Farblonjet, a riff on Wagner’s Ring Cycle, Bluebeard, and The Mystery of Irma Vep, his most popular play, and a performer’s tour-de-force. Ludlam continued working until almost the day he died of PCP pneumonia, just three months after his AIDS diagnosis. He was 44.

Meet the cast


artist team


Production Stage Manager: Kelsey York

Set Design: 

Costume Design: 

Lighting Design: 

Sound Design: 

our show sponsors

If you are interested in sponsoring this show, please contact Amy at amyb@thirdavenueplayworks.org