'The Great Gatsby' experience; a review.

I’ve finally cracked it, folks. I have found the perfect solution for the Sunday eve pre-working week woes. You simply need a night of brilliant, twenties-themed immersive theatre! You’re welcome. 

Yes, on Sunday 10th of March the fabulous Stevie Finegan and I were plunged into the super glam and glittery world of Gatsby, with help from Guild of Misrule and From the Box Office

(photo from Stevie)

'It’s the roaring twenties – an era of bootleg liquor, red hot jazz and hedonistic pleasures. Jay Gatsby has invited you to one of his infamous parties and that's not an invite you want to turn down... 

Step into an immersive adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald’s seminal jazz-age novel which puts you in the heart of the action. Slip on your dancing shoes and watch the story unfold around you in this unique theatrical performance. The cocktails are flowing, the music is playing, the party is in full swing and there's the chance of more than a little scandal. Immerse yourself in one of the greatest stories of the 20th Century.' 

We were told ‘1920s dress encouraged, dancing shoes required’, and this was perhaps the most exciting note on an invitation… so of course we dressed the heck up. As did most of the audience! It was quite a sight to see, and pretty damn lovely. 

(photo from Stevie)
 The drama and action starts from the front door. Our bags were checked by a very bemused fellow, who didn’t seem sure why exactly he was having to do this strange task, and then our names were ticked off the guest list (no ticket pick up necessary!) by a cheery gal in tight trousers and peacock feather print braces. We then moved through to the bar, to find a team of handsome bar men ready and willing to make our cocktail dreams come true (and boy, were they strong! The cocktails and the fellas, I’m sure). 

The show started subtly; the regular piano tunes being played grew louder, and before we knew it a glam flapper was singing along and silencing us all with her lovely voice. Then they plucked out a man in the crowd (one whose impeccable outfit I’d already clocked and commented on) to speak, and it just so happened that he was Nick Caraway. And suddenly, BOOM! We were right there in the story, and it was happening all around us! 

Truly, every actor was incredible. The audience participation was super fun, and while at times it was a bit of a muddle being separated from our present day as groups of us were pulled off to various secret rooms, it was very effective and unlike anything I’d experienced before.  

My personal highlight? Other than learning to Charleston in one huge group, of course… When the tiniest group of us (3 men, 4 women, I believe) were taken up a short set of stairs into Daisy Buchanan’s bedroom, where she and her treacherous but fiercely protective husband discussed what they were to do about the tragic accident she’d caused with Gatsby. I was honestly gobsmacked how those actors (and ) worked their socks off JUST FOR US. The improvisational skills and the tension they created were just next level. 

Also, the way Jay Gatsby had looked at Daisy when he first saw her, earlier in the performance (and the comic relief Nick provided, drinking his tea awkwardly between them). Oooffftt. 

Important notes: I believe we saw the second Myrtle on Sunday night, and she is normally played by Charlie Burt, who was our Jordan Baker. You’d never have known these women weren’t playing their usual roles, though! In fact, I’d say these two were my favourites. Plus, Tom Buchanan… he was a whole lotta yum. Anyone else feel me on that!?  

Right, readers. Get yourselves tickets for this unique show at 
From the Box Office ASAP, it's booking til July and you won't want to miss it. 

Oh, and if you need to do some research on the story beforehand, you can grab a copy of the book from only £2 on A Great Read!


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