Whilst we are ushering into the grand venue, IMMERSIVE LDN, feathers are filling any social-distanced space, as shards of light bounce off of diamonds and gems on flamboyant headpieces. Almost everyone is looking the part and awaiting their greetings from Gatsby’s co-hosts. We are instantly being transported into the roaring ’20s, as each step we take we can hear jazz music, laughter and American accents. The glass of champagne on arrival is the perfect detail to welcome us into the culture that drank more fizz than anything else. Indisputably, the best immersive performance I have attended thus far, and you will not be disappointed if you’re looking for a night of dancing, drinking, singing and top-notch acting.
Though it seems the party has already begun, the true show starts as Nick Carraway, played by Hugh Stubbins, sets the tone. Within moments, lights are flashing and we are witnessing all the actors committing to the Charleston next to us, opposite us and all around us. Their commitment to involving the audience, keeping up the pace and staying in character is excellent. A truly magical moment.
A charming feature is definitely the opportunity to follow characters into other rooms in smaller groups, and though I’d love to try and explain what I witnessed, perhaps it is best to encourage you to see for yourselves. Tip: Follow Myrtle Wilson and George Wilson into their living room party.
Despite the undeniable ambience throughout, the second half is dedicated to the narrative we all know and love, whereas the first act is more of a love letter to the hedonistic lifestyle of Gatsby. The plot seems fractured at first, and though the drinks are flowing and everyone is embracing what there is to offer, it feels difficult to know if this is simply an event or a play.
Perfect for big groups, excitable theatre-goers or anyone up for a fun night, The Great Gatsby at IMMERSIVE LDN doesn’t waver in energy or entertainment. But if you are a fan of the narrative and character journeys, save your anticipation for the last 20 minutes.
Review: Isabelle Tyner Photos: Mark Senior