The Great Gatsby (no, a different one)
There's new Gatsby in town and he sings!
Since 1925 the tale of F Scott Fitzgerald’s socialite with a secret, the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby has thrilled countless thousands across the globe through a multitude of media, from page to stage to screen to dance and recently the memorable 8-Bit video game.
We popped down to Hammersmith’s Riverside Studios to take a peek at this musical adaptation’s return to the London stage, after its applauded reception at the Kings Head theatre last year. Michael Lindall joins the cast as Gatsby with new songs from Joe Evans and choreography by Lee Proud.
What you need to know:
Gatsby is the quintessential ‘man who has everything’, more money than god and more friends than he can count, but rumour has it, this enormous fortune (which may well be ill-gotten) has a secret purpose: to help him reclaim his lost war-time love, the now married Daisy Buchanan (played by the excellent Matilda Sturridge).
Daisy’s cousin, Nick (Sid Phoenix) just so happened to be Gatsby’s new neighbour. It’s Nick, a newly forged bondsman, freshly back from the shock and chaos of World War I who guides us through a haze of smoke and bootlegged liquor in the jazz age of the roaring twenties as a fresh face to the New York high society.
At times outrageous and hilarious, for what is essentially a piece of musical theatre in which rich white people sing out the woes of being rich and white, it manages to be funny, moving and gripping throughout.
The cast are superb – Matilda Sturridge has a fantastic singing voice as Daisy, Michael Lindall is snake-oil smooth as Gatsby and Sid Phoenix is exceptional as Nick, on his journey from wide-eyed outsider who revels in and comes to despise the sloshing of money and careless loose morals that are synonymous with wealth in Fitzgerald's lavish opus .
Imogen Daines and Ian Knauer are fantastic as girlfriend (to Nick) Jordan and wayward husband (to Daisy) Tom.
Scandal, lies, love, money money money and Jazz baby!
Expect great things of Gatsby.
Runs until Saturday 8 June at Riverside Studios Hammersmith. Details and tickets here.
Words: Tim Mitchell
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