This was my first visit to the Lost Theatre and I was very impressed with the space. It is large for a fringe venue, which means that the actors don’t benefit from the intimacy that a small space provides.
The cast of The Great Gatsby was made up of five actors. The performance opened with an acapella song that was very much in keeping with the period. This was an exciting start, energetic and vibrant, which I hoped would set the tone for the rest of the play. Sadly this was not to be.
The cast did their utmost, with no music, sound effects, props or any significant set to portray the decadent lifestyle of the wealthy in the 1920′s, this was a near to impossible task. Three cleverly designed boxes comprised the only set, they became seating, chests, cars and diving board. While I understand the need to keep the set to a minimum, particularly for a touring company, this proved too minimalistic. Perhaps the performances did leave something to be desired because the lavishness being spoken about was hard to imagine when all you had to look at were three white boxes.
The piece was interspersed with acapella music sung by the cast. This turned out to be the saving grace of the show. Unfortunately in-between the musical interludes the play began to lose pace and along with it I started to lose interest.
Overall this production did entertain. If you know the story this is an enjoyable retelling of it. The warning label should read however, if you have never seen the film or read the book this should not be your first experience of The Great Gatsby.
Performed at the Lost Theatre.