The Great Gatsby

“A complete immersion into the rip roaring 1920's"

You are invited to one of Jay Gatsby’s infamous parties; as invites go, this is the hottest ticket in town. A world of red-hot rhythms, bootleg liquor, and pure jazz age self-indulgence awaits.

The storyline of this immersive production follows closely to the novel of the same name, in which millionaire Jay Gatsby moves into the area, arranges lavish parties, and aims to win back the heart of an old love - Daisy Buchanan. However, Daisy is already married to wealthy and jealous Tom. There are also intertwining love stories between other cast members and this all creates a romantic but equally tragic story of unrequited love.

Upon entering the Dolphin Hotel in Mold, you are immediately transported back to the 1920’s with smoky low lighting, an old-fashioned cocktail bar and jazz music creating the party atmosphere. Old fashioned posters adorn the stripped back walls, giving a real feel for the 1920’s. With audience members being invited to dress up in their best 1920’s attire and with the cast members walking around to greet party guests (the audience) upon arrival, the immersive production immediately begins as soon as you step through the doors of the speakeasy. Throughout the entire production, I felt truly immersed in the production as a guest of the party rather than an audience member watching a performance.

There are times in the production where cast members direct groups of audience members to different rooms within the pub in which they can follow different sub-plots. I loved the idea of this aspect as it gave opportunity to really get to know the different characters and their own stories as you truly felt part of the storyline. However, not everyone got the chance to experience this due to the amount of audience members and this was a real missed opportunity. It’s also worth noting that whilst this was happening, some of the other sub-stories going on around you were a lot noisier and dramatic and this was distracting for the more intimate aspects of the sub-stories. Due to the immersive nature of this production, actors were moving around a lot and this led to me missing some of the storyline due to not being able to see or hear what was going on. However, this did not take away from the incredible evening and I still had a great time regardless due to the high value production.

The whole cast must be commended for a valiant performance. Not once breaking out of character for the whole duration of the show and creating a good rapport with the audiences from the outset to enhance the immersive experience. A standout performance comes from Seren Vickers who plays Jordan Baker – having previously seen Seren in a past Theatr Clwyd production, it is evident how well she adapts to different roles that she plays and brings her characters to life. She embodies the ‘party girl’ vibe and really contributes to the atmosphere of the party. Jack Hammett takes on the role of Nick, the main storyteller of this production and brings a real endearing quality to the production. Seren and Jack have such chemistry together as part of their riveting love story. Richard McIver portrays Jay Gatsby in such a swoon-worthy way, demonstrating a slight arrogance in his grandeur.

The Great Gatsby perfectly encapsulates an immersive experience – with jazz music and the audience members dancing along with the cast to the Charleston, it truly feels like an invite to the most ravishing party in town. Beautifully romantic and equally tragic, The Great Gatsby is a complete immersion into the rip roaring 1920s.

This show was reviewed on the 23rd June 2023 at The Dolphin Hotel, Mold.  The Great Gatsby runs there until the 27th August 2023.  Tickets are available through Theatr Clwyd here: The Great Gatsby | Theatr Clwyd

Review written by Vicky Humphreys

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Photo credit: Sam Taylor

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