The Mystery of Irma Vep and Other Plays
Artistic director, playwright, director, designer and star of New York's acclaimed Ridiculous Theatrical Company, the late Charles Ludlam ransacked theatrical and literary history in an evolutionary quest for a modern art of stage comedy. His more than 30 plays are among the most thought-provoking entertainments in the modern repertoire. As Ludlam himself put it, "This is farce, not Sunday school. "
Collected here for the first time are Ludlam's most famous and celebrated works for the stage: The Mystery of Irma Vep: Ludlam's most famous play, this is a hilarious send up of Daphne de Maurier, Jane Eyre and Victorian cross dressing. Camille: based on La Dame aux Camélias, with Ludlam in the role of the tubercular courtesan, is both a laughfest and a tearjerker. Galas: the life of opera singer Maria Callas imagined as a modern tragedy, in which Ludlam himself assayed the part of the diva. Stage Blood: Ludlam's take on Shakespeare, with actors putting on Hamlet both on stage and back stage and somehow, in this tragedy, everything comes out for the best. Bluebeard: somewhat based on H. G. Wells' Island of Dr. Moreau, concerns a mad vivisectionist in search of a third sex. Introduction by Tony Kushner.