'I like large parties. They’re so intimate.' Welcome to the largest party in town, hosted by the ever-elusive Jay Gatsby.
Step into the roaring twenties of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel as The Great Gatsby immersive theatre production takes over Gatsby's Drugstore (84 Long Lane, Borough) after a sellout season at The Vaults underneath Waterloo Station.
Meet Nick Carraway, Daisy and Tom Buchanan, Jordan Baker and even the mysterious Mr Gatsby himself as you step through a drugstore into a world of riches, intrigue and revelry.
Event company Guild of Misrule set the scene with slick professionalism. Audience members can make their own way through a series of rooms, on different levels and tucked away behind curtains. Gold sequins glint from every surface, prohibition is flouted in a surfeit of champagne and gin, and the crowd is a mass of sparkle and feathers.
Learn to Charleston, creep down corridors behind adulterers or eavesdrop on plans for a tea party. Rather than a single linear narrative, the production breathes life into Fitzgerald's prose with multiple scenes happening simultaneously. Depending on which character you follow, you will be part of different snippets of the story. Performances are impressive all round and, crucially, spontaneous chit-chat and verbal sparring with audience members is funny and charming enough to avoid awkwardness.
Though it's not the flashiest, biggest budget immersive production around, The Great Gatsby has an intimacy, just the type Miss Jordan Baker likes at a large party, that connects you to the story. The bustle of activity, as you can hear snatches of drama from adjoining rooms, is convincingly immersive. You feel part of the action and invested in the story – even when guffaws from behind closed doors give you a flicker of FOMO.
It's an imaginative interpretation of the text, which allows the rich details to all fit into a two-hour show. The Culture Whisper reviewing duo was made up of a can-quote-by-heart Fitzgerald fan and a Gatsby novice and we were equally entertained.
In fact, our only regret is turning up in jeans. This is a party where you'll want to dress to impress: drop waists, pearls and dancing shoes are de rigueur and drinking is encouraged. What are you waiting for, old sport?
|What||The Great Gatsby, immersive theatre review|
|Where||Gatsby's Drugstore, 84 Long Lane, London, SE1 4AU | MAP|
|Nearest tube||London Bridge (underground)|
16 Mar 18 – 31 Dec 19, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
|Price||£29.50 - £35|
|Website||Click here to book now|