"," is a comedic cult-classic, by Charles Ludlam, that is set in a wacky manor house in England, and the historic 1721 Mulford Barn seems to be the perfect setting to bring this play to life.
The sponsors the Mulford Repertory Theatre company, now in its fifth season. Executive director Richard Barons said the play fits so well into the 18th century barn. “The whole aura of an off-the-beaten-path old English manor house comes alive within the 250 year old beams in our Mulford Farm barn,” Barons said.
Kate Mueth, artistic director for Mulford Repertory Theatre, said that Barons approached her a few years ago with this play. She said she included it on the short list for this year and ultimately this play was the one that Barons liked best.
"We needed a two-hander, something fun and yet challenging. This is a play not done much anymore and it really is ridiculous fun," Mueth said.
"The Mystery of Irma Vep" tells the story of Lord Edgar, played by actor Trevor Vaughn, and Lady Enid, played by actor Isaac Klein, the new mistress of the manor, who experience a lot of strange ongoings in the English manor house. Lord Edgar is still grieving the passing of his first wife, Irma Vep. A meddling maid and appearances by vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and mummies unravels the house.
All of the eight characters in this farce are played by Vaughn and Klein. The high task of fast paced character, costume, and gender changes was a huge element in casting this particular play for Mueth. She said that Vaughn and Klein are dear friends who met at the North Carolina School for the Arts and work a lot together now. With there being very little time for rehearsal, she said that the more comfortable actors are with one another the sooner the real work happens.
"They are young, have a lot of stamina and are very intelligent theater artists. We have known each other for a long time now and can easily dare to venture into the places we need to go in order to broach a play like Irma," said Mueth.
The Mulford Barn is one of the most intact early 18th century English-plan barn forms in New York State. It was deemed the second most important 18th century barn in New York State by the State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in 1990.
“The idea of getting an audience to experience both an amazing 18th century structure while rolling in laughter at this camp-style comedy seemed like a great way to introduce a new venue to people not familiar with the Museum,” said Barons.
"We are grateful for the support of East Hampton Historical Society, Richard, and the community in being able to do this, even in the lean times," she said.
"" will run Wednesday through Sundays, Aug. 15 - 26 at 7:30 p.m., and Thursday and Friday, Aug. 30 and 31 at 7:30 p.m. Seating is limited to 50 for performance and advance ticketing is strongly encouraged. Gates open at 5 p.m. and people are invited to come early and bring a picnic, beverages, and a blanket. Tickets are $20 in advance; $25 at the door.
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