Walk into Jay Gatsby’s mansion and join his lavish party during the immersive show The Great Gatsby at Immersive LDN. Expect theatre mixed with singing and dancing, intimate talks with the characters, and even an invitation to take part in their world.
When you walk into the mansion at Davies Street, the actors hush you upstairs, to a stylish bar. They remind you that it’s 1922 which means no mobile phones but it also means no alcohol: it’s the days of the prohibition era in the States. At Gatsby’s party, however, everyone’s glasses are full, gossip is spreading fast and the cheerful company does not let you get bored.
The plot of The Great Gatsby, like the novel of the same name, is based around the love story of Jay Gatsby, a mysterious billionaire who recently moved to the area and arranges lavish parties at his mansion, and Daisy Buchanan, married to a wealthy yet ordinary and jealous man Tom. Lovers in the past, they long and fear the reconnection in the present. Once it happens, a drama follows. Tragic, yet romantic and beautiful, this is a tale of true love, true dreams and true human nature.
While The Great Gatsby is immersive, it is your choice how much to participate. There are a couple of moments when you have to follow characters to other rooms of the house, but most of the time you can pick one of a few tables in the corner and watch the scenes that unfold.
Besides walking and dancing around, you are also invited to chat with the characters. For instance, Gatsby himself (Oliver Towse) asks his guests about the ways to spend a fortune while Daisy (Lucinda Turner) and Jordan (Jessica Hern) discuss fashions and the social scene. Furthermore, actors select a few lucky guests from time to time, inviting them for a secret chat, drink or who knows what else behind closed doors.
While modern and innovative, the immersive play still closely follows the original text of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s bestseller. The figure of the storyteller, Nick Carraway was brilliantly brought to life by Hugh Stubbins. Live music and dressed up audience help to create a feel of the time. And while the decor of Gatsby’s mansion sometimes felt scaled back, the impression of travelling in time was fully achieved.
The special place in this show belongs to the space and light. While the first one is arranged in a way that allows you to feel fully involved, the second helps to focus the attention on the action, to highlight the connections and opposition between characters and their emotions.
Overall, The Great Gatsby is an emotional and well-paced show that gives you more than one way to discover the story and it is up to you who to follow. I would highly recommend this production to anyone into an American classic, immersive productions and 1920s chic and glamour.