The Great Gatsby
The American classic gets a Broadway makeover at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
There are many literary parties that catch the imagination and inspire dreams of what it might have been like to be there. Satan’s Ball in The Master and Margarita and Kitty’s first dance in Anna Karenin stand out but the lavish scale of the extravagant and outrageous gatherings that Jay Gatsby laid on beat them all.
With the shameless excess of the bootlegging roaring Twenties, the parties at the Long Island mansion set the scene against which the drama is played out. This is what has inspired Blur, a young experimental theatre company from New York to adapt the novel and emphasise the cabaret taking you on 'an explosive new theatrical journey among the whisperings, the champagne & the stars'.
The company are trained as dancers as well as actors and they present a seductive and energetic show which succeeds as entertainment and still manages to convey the dramatic tension of the novel as Nick recounts the havoc wreaked by Daisy and Tom.
The whispers of the cast create a decadent intimacy but they undermine the power of the songs which need more development if this production is to fulfil its aims.
Assembly Roxy, 623 3030, until 24 Aug (not 18). 5.45pm, £13– £14.